Home Formula 3Euroformula Euroformula cancels Pau Grand Prix round due to biofuel requirement

Euroformula cancels Pau Grand Prix round due to biofuel requirement

by Ida Wood

Photo: Fotospeedy

Euroformula has cancelled next week’s races on the streets of Pau, which would have been the second round of the 2023 season and also incorporated the Pau Grand Prix.

“GT Sport today confirmed that the Euroformula Open will not hold the second round of its 2023 season in Pau on 13-14 May, as communicated to the Pau organisers on 27 April,” read a series statement.

“Technical reasons have led to this decision, as it proved not possible to adjust the current engines of the Euroformula 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.

“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 decision was communicated to the event organiser last Thursday, when Euroformula was on track at Algarve for pre-event testing for its season opener and the GT Sport technical team was in action.

Euroformula is one of few open-engine series in single-seater racing, with Spiess and HWA-built Mercedes-Benz engines used by competitors.

It added the Pau GP to its 2023 calendar this January after the event had failed to attract the other international single-seater series that had been targeted, and Euroformula told Formula Scout it is now planning a replacement event to keep the season at eight rounds.

Formula Scout understands that although the requirement to run on high percentage biofuel, or a sustainable fuel equivalent, was not stated in the contracts that series signed to race in Pau next weekend, it was an intention that was communicated by Joel Do Vale, the grand prix co-ordinator and vice-president of the FFSA, France’s motorsport governing body.

After the event not being run for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pau GP returned in 2022 with the FIA’s electric-powered eTouring Car World Cup and Euroformula the top billing series.

There was also a demo for the all-electric ERA single-seater series, and Do Vale spoke to Formula Scout about his plans for the 80th running of the event this year.

Read more: How the Pau Grand Prix came back for 2022, and where it’s headed next

Following Euroformula’s announcement, TCR Europe – the other high-profile series on the bill next weekend – has communicated to Formula Scout that the biofuel focus does not impact their presence in the paddock next weekend. The French Formula 4 championship, which will be supporting it, is also not set to be affected.