Endurance: Rule Changes for Next Year
Posted: 7th July 2017
Rider to Pit radio comms – Team helmets in pit lane – More modern machines in Classic Endurance – Rule changes for both FIM EWC Endurance and Classic Endurance next year
Some significant rule changes will affect the FIM Endurance World Championship and the European Classic Series classic endurance championship next season. Here's a snap shot of what is being proposed:
Communication with Riders on Track
This was slipped in at the end of the official release, but we think it might be the most significant for all of motorcycle racing in the long term.
“It has been proposed that riders test HF radio for communication between teams and the riders on the track. This communication system is already being used in car endurance racing and has proved interesting and useful to help commentators and television viewers get a better understanding of race incidents and team strategies.
“Testing will start during the winter of 2017-2018 to evaluate how the system can be successfully implemented without affecting rider comfort and safety. If the tests prove conclusive and are approved by the FIM, Eurosport Events will offer to work with teams under contract on a voluntary basis to introduce the communication system during the races.”
Great for TV highlights, possibly great for the teams, not much good for the spectators at events or watching an event live on TV. We've already seen in the coverage of F1 that radio messages need to be delayed, and quite often that delay renders the message a bit meaningless. Is there really a need to this?
Helmet in Pitlane
“Anyone present in pit lane will have to wear a helmet during all races and tests”. Helmets must be at least a 'certified' bicycle helmet and will have to be approved by the FIM's technical director. Only accredited team members (and hopefully accredited press...) will be granted access to the working area in front of the pit box. “The objective is to limit the number of people in the pit lane and the refuelling areas during tests and the race.” say the FIM.
Revised Refuelling Study
“During coverage of fuel stops by the promoter Eurosport Events, we have spotted varying fuel spillages at the end of refuelling. It is imperative that we beef up safety during refuelling to rule out any risk of fire.
A study has been launched to improve refuelling procedures based on three criteria: increased safety, equitable treatment, and reduced cost. The proposal is to amend the refuelling procedure in two stages.”
1) Restriction on the height of portable derricks to 1 metre. We're not sure if this means the refuelling tanks themselves or the raised reservoirs sometimes used to fill those tanks.
2) Restricted fuel flow rate: “The diameter of the fuel transfer can be no larger than 50.8mm (2 inches) to restrict the fuel flow rate. The objective is to implement FIM-approved refuelling systems or to launch a call for bids to have a reliable, equitable and cost-effective fuel supply system to be used by all teams in place by the 2019-2020 season.”
Riders' World Championship
Only rider who have ridden at least 75% of the season (we don't know if this is 75% of the number of races, or of the number of hours raced) with the FIM EWC World Championship team can be awarded awarded the title. To us at Race24, the entire championship is a team event and should not be awarded to individual riders.
Contracted Private Team
There will be support for 15 private teams during the 17/18 season, and the top five FIM EWC teams and the top three SuperStock teams will be given priority of choice of pitbox for each race.
European Classic Series
EVO Class Proposed for 2018
There was a meeting at Spa to present and discuss the introduction of an additional class to the Eudopean Classic Series, basically allowing 750cc bikes made between 1983 and 1991 to compete. This will bring into eligibility the Honda RC30, Suzuki GSX-R750, Kawasaki ZXR750R, Yamaha OW01 and – with special restrictions – Ducati's 851.
The aim is to increase the size of the grid, allow teams to use bikes that are easier to source and tune, and to widen the appeal of the series. Much of the discussion centred around the use – or not – of slick and wet tyres and tyre warmers, and of the impact on the existing entries and classes.
Words: Martin Gelder