Euroformula cancels Pau Grand Prix round due to biofuel requirements

Euroformula Open has cancelled its Pau Grand Prix round a week before the event due to being unable to adhere to biofuel requirements by organisers.

Billy Monger, Carlin

In a bid to improve sustainability credentials for 2023, Pau GP organisers made running biofuels a necessity for series at the 80th running of the grand prix.

But Euroformula hasn’t been able to meet the fuel requirement and has subsequently withdrawn from the event.

The inclusion of the FIA eTouring Car World championship (ETCR) and a demo by fellow electric series ERA at least year’s grand prix, as well as sponsorship from a fuel firm, prompted the event organisers to seek series with improved sustainability credentials for 2023.

Series using biofuel were at the heart of this vision, and the plan was shared with competitors and media during the weekend. But the collapse of ETCR and lack of interest from other single-seater series meant Euroformula was called up to fill the gap - despite not fitting the sustainable fuel vision - and TCR Europe was brought in to replace ETCR.

However, it is understood the fuel requirement was not in Euroformula’s contract with the event organiser when it agreed to race.

“Technical reasons have led to this decision, as it proved not possible to adjust the current engines of the Euroformula Open cars to the wishes of the organisers of the grand prix, its sponsors, and the city of Pau for a low-carbon emissions event, running on ‘greener’ fuels, a requirement that was not part of the agreement signed with the GP de Pau,” a series statement read.

“The studies and checks conducted showed that adapting the engines safely and effectively would require further engineering work, costly modifications, and testing. The lead time to the event was not sufficient and GT Sport has been forced to move this round to another location and date which will be communicated shortly.”

The series won't visit Pau this year

The series won't visit Pau this year

Photo by: Euroformula Open

An added issue had been a potential lack of tyres from manufacturer Hankook because the supplier suffered a factory fire a month before the season started, which wiped out significant levels of Europe-bound stock of racing tyres as well as pausing production.

When the promoter and teams were reunited for last weekend’s Portimao opener, there was enough tyres for the first two rounds, but it was communicated to Pau's organiser that Euroformula would not meet the fuel target and therefore withdraw itself from the event.

The next Euroformula round is at Spa-Francorchamps on 26-28 May.

It is understood a return to Silverstone or a trip to Enna Pergusa to revive the Mediterranean Grand Prix, as Euroformula had previously planned to do, are not options to replace the cancelled round.