Additional burden for EWC teams with single fuel supplier
Just on the eve of Team #111 Honda Endurance Racing dropping out of the Championship, promoters Eurosport events have announced an unpopular decision which is likely to cause further teams to overthink their engagement in the FIM Endurance World Championship in the near time soon.
Team Managers got informed about the new fuel for all rounds – except the Le Mans 24h Motos – this Tuesday evening with the Panta Racing Fuel „Panta MTV4T-01“ becoming mandatory from this year’s Bol d’Or, opening round of the 2019/2020 FIM EWC season.
The decision is described to be for safety reasons and for more equality in the competition. But there are way far more things to be considered unsafe than the usage of the petrol, brought to the track with the teams for now.
The main issue for the teams being the price of 3.20 Euros per litre – without VAT. That would be doubled up per litre from a Ultimate or similar mixture of around 1.70 – including VAT. The promoters have agreed on a funding of 1.000 Euro per entered team. But that would be depleted by the first round already.
„A 24 hours week – including the race, practices, payed sessions and so on – we are talking about 36 hours of riding multiplied by 25 litres – makes 900 litres,“ Karsten Wolf, Team Manager of the current Superstock-Vice-World Cup winners, sums up, speaking exclusively to ewc-mag.com.
„In an 8 hours race week, we need around 500 litres,“ Wolf continues.
So the Bol d’Or would cost a team almost 3000 Euros just in re-fuelling, compared to the normal 1.500 Euros when using petrol station fuel with high octane. Some teams even would use the low octane ones to save money.
Even at Le Mans, where teams are forced to use the track’s petrol facilities in the pit lane, it is cheaper by 2.70 Euros per litre.
„And there we have constantly 50 litres per team in the pit lane – not pit box, pit lane – that is an security issue,“ #8 Kawasaki Team Manager Kevin Bolliger confirms speaking to ewc-mag.com.
The promoters refer to an additional funding for the permanent entered teams for their participation in the 8 hours of Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit.
„For sure this is a big help,“ Wolf continues. „But as it stands now with the single fuel supplier and the additional costs on this side – even with the further funding for the fuel – there is as much money left for flights for 3 riders and 3 mechanics – which clearly isn’t enough. Plus the funding was supposed to be for the Malaysia trip only.“
Also Bolliger is clear about the situation. „With that, I need 10.000 Euros more per season,“ the young Swiss managers says. Costs for his squad are higher as for the GER-Team56 due to the participation in the Suzuka 8 hours, which is not a Stock race for the European teams.
Bolliger: „If those unpopular decisions with increased investments continue, our exit from the championship is not far around the corner.“