On December 4th we received the news that the Airfield in Mariensiel will no longer be available as a venue for the Jade Race 2020. Of course, after 11 years of successful cooperation with airfield management, all involved authorities and offices as well as the trades around the race, this was an unpleasant surprise that has caused great regret. Especially as the prospect of the continuation of the race event was made in the previous shareholder meeting (district of Friesland and city of Wilhelmshaven).
The reason for the suspension of the event is not due to reservations against the race, but rather due to the quality of the new surface of the track (runway). During the set-up of the race event in July 2019 the new surface reacted to the heavy loads, leaving indentations and imprints. An effect that was clearly not due to use of race vehicles or our service vehicles. After all, the “old” surface had worked without any damage for ten years.
A rectification of the defective surface is certainly recommended even if it is used exclusively for flight operations. Where heavy recovery equipment could also be used, which the surface will also not be able to withstand. Or to put it another way: the bad or faulty quality of a resurfaced motorway or a public road would certainly not be accepted. It is more than annoying that with the loss of the Jade Race the region will lose an attractive race event.
First and foremost, we are thankful for the long-standing trust in the potential and for the fascination of this race event., that has continued to develop into one of the most prominent events in the region of Friesland / Wilhelmshaven. Next to the Nitrolympx with the permanent drag strip at the Hockenheimring, the Jade Race event is the most renowned race of its kind in Germany and has increasingly attracted up to 250 teams from all over Europe. The high level of sporting professionalism and the perfect handling of the complexity of this race event makes the Jade Race attractive for race teams and spectators.
A brief look at the history of this event shows an impressive story: The event has grown steadily since 2007 and we have counted up to 8000 visitors on race days. Many hotels, guest houses and other holiday accommodations in the region were fully booked. Regional businesses have discovered the race event as an effective advertising platform for themselves and, according to their own statement, have gained new customers at the Jade Race. The race event is not only a successful engine and excellent advertisement for the tourist location Friesland, which has gained publicity beyond the borders of the region due to international participation. The technical solutions developed within the framework of the optimisation of our racing vehicles, for example in the field of injection technology, are finding their way back into the industry. In fact, motorsport is still a laboratory and testing ground for technical innovation.
Motorsport is undergoing a radical change in times when environmental awareness and climate protection are playing an increasingly important role. A development that has not left the Jade Race unaffected and which has long been taken into account with the use of clean fuels such as E10 or bio-methanol. In addition, we wanted to send out another signal in the coming year with the introduction of an electric drag racing class. A project for which renowned vehicle suppliers and power suppliers have offered support.
Our interest in e-mobility is also inspired by the world record that was set by students from Stuttgart at the Jade Race in 2015: The acceleration from zero to a hundred in 1.779 seconds with an electric racing car, which secured the track an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The Jade Race as a platform for technical innovation, modern vehicle construction and exciting racing events that is a unique entertainment program and that even with the increased environmental awareness is politically endorsed and should be maintained.
An alternative racetrack in the immediate vicinity may in fact be possible. The Jever Air Base, which is no longer used for military flight operations, is basically usable due to a central waiver for motorsports purposes.
The necessary approval by the DMSB (German Motorsports ASN) and the ADAC (Automobil Club of Germany) are available. Should the Commander of the Object Protection Regiment give consent then the Jade Race could have a new home in 2020.
We hope that with the continued political support (District Administrator S. Ambrosy and Environmental Minister Olaf Lies), the authorities and administration and of course the press and the public we will get the chance to continue this successful and profitable event for the region. We are ready to sit at the negotiating table with the responsible persons, to discuss in full transparency the best possible.