Press Release of the Jade Race UG – 15.07.2020

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German) English Nederlands (Dutch)

Since we have not received the promised support from the County of Friesland to this day, we are going ahead and launching the online petition “To preserve the Jade Race” at www.jade-race.de, with which we would like to enrich the calendar of events again in 2021.

On December 4th 2019, we received a message from the management of Jade-Weser Airport that the airport will no longer be available as a venue for the Jade-Race. This statement is in stark contrast with the fact that we had been informed that the continuation was held out in prospect at the previous shareholder meeting!

On December 9th 2019, the Jade-Race was put on the agenda of the meeting of the Committee for Economy, Tourism, District Development and Finance in Jever.

Source: https://buergerinfo.friesland.de/si0057.asp?__ksinr=1414

All parties present were in favour of preserving the Jade Race and emphasized how valuable the event is for the region!

Nevertheless, nothing has happened so far. Why?

The new asphalt

The reason for the discontinuation is not due to reservations against the race event, but instead due to the quality of the new surface of the runway. The surface of the runway, which was just renewed in 2019 by the operators (the County of Friesland and the city of Wilhelmshaven, each with 50%) with 1.8 million euros of taxpayers’ money, had reacted under load with subsidence damage and impressions. An effect that is clearly not attributable to the specific use by racing vehicles or the service fleet of the Jade-Race. This damage had already been caused by a road roller of the construction company, which had sunken into the new runway.

I would like to stress once again that no damage was caused to the surface of the runway by our racing vehicles!

The air traffic control authority checked the runway after the Jade Race event and according to management there were no complaints.

The use of heavy-duty recovery equipment could also occur during standard flight operations, for which the surface of the runway would also not be suitable for. In other words, a motorway or a road used by the public would certainly not pass the quality test with this kind of fault.

The point load of an airplane is much higher than that of our racing cars. In figures: According to the official statement of the airfield, the track is approved for airplanes up to 14 tons and helicopters up to 20 tons. Our competition cars weigh 800 kilograms – about 2.000 kilograms.

In addition, the rubber compound of the racing tyres is so soft that no damage is caused to the asphalt. After all, the “old” surface had be used for ten years without any damage!

Source: https://www.edwi.info/piloten/flugplatzinfo.html

Why did the asphalt sink in?

Upon request, we are faced with statements from the contractors, which are difficult for us to reconcile. On the one hand, the warranty for possible damage is denied if the race is continued. Even though everyone knew in advance that the Jade Race had been taking place at the airfield for 10 years and that the new surface should be able to cope with the demands!  Which is a bit like a roadbuilder complaining about cars using a road after the construction has been completed. And on the other hand, they tell us that the asphalt apparently has a very high compressive strength due to a high polymer content and thus be of a particularly high quality. Unfortunately, this has not been confirmed during practice. This naturally raises the question of whether the surface is at all of the required quality.

 Two temporary factors could also contribute to the subsidence of the surface: One, the temperature, which was well below the 50°C considered as critical during the Jade Race 2019. Two, the time, which is necessary for the hardening process. The surface was completed just six weeks before the event. So perhaps now, after one year, the surface may have reached its full load capacity – so that comparable damage might now no longer occur. If this is the case then the reason for the suspension of our race event could have therefore become irrelevant.

The CDU (political party) requested that a test be done by an independent and neutral inspection authority in accordance with ZTV Asphalt-StB.

Source: https://buergerinfo.friesland.de/to0050.asp?__ktonr=20737

Their results are the essential basis for acceptance and invoicing.

Source: https://www.asphalt.de/fileadmin/user_upload/technik/prfungen.pdf

If this examination is positive, then there is nothing stopping the Jade Race from continuing. The load-bearing capacity would be confirmed and the Jade-Race would then be covered by the organizer’s insurance as requested by District Administrator Sven Ambrosy. Unfortunately we have not received any information about the status.

Info asphalt : https://www.asphalt.de/themen/technik/9-pruefungen/

Alternative venues

The Jade Race does not necessarily have to be held at Mariensiel Airfield. Of course we have tried to find alternatives.  Within a radius of 300 kilometres we approached 4 airfields that have the potential. Unfortunately we did not receive a positive answer.

In fact, an alternative racetrack is actually available in the immediate vicinity. The Jever Airbase, which is no longer used for military air traffic, can be used for motor sports purposes due to what we call a central decree. The necessary approval from the DMSB (Motorsports ASN) and the ADAC (Automobile Club) has been obtained. If the commander of the object protection regiment agrees to the use, the Jade-Race could find a home at this location.

Several years ago, slalom races and other public events were held at the airfield even during the active period of the German Air Force. Today, public events are still held at the facility. So why not the Jade Race as well? The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) could use the event for public relations and troop recruitment, as they have done before at the Jade Race.

It was a great honour and pleasure when the County of Friesland brought about the decision of the Minister to bestow the honourable addition “Friesland” to the ObjSRgtLw (Object Protection Regiment of the German Air Force) to express the special relationship and the great attachment to the region.

Source: https://www.schortens.de/leben-in-schortens/schortens/bundeswehr.html

This special bond would give the region of Friesland an international motorsport event!

But unfortunately no one want’s to talk to us about the mere possibility of an event.

Source: Annex cancellation BW  

Economic factor Jade-Race

The Jade Race is one of the largest privately organised events in the Friesland / Wilhelmshaven area. The event welcomes up to 10,000 visitors from all over Europe to our region, that use everything the region has to offer such as restaurants, hotels, supermarkets etc. thus generating considerable income for the area. Many visitors and racing teams combine the Jade Race with a vacation in our region. In view of the increased focus on the tourism business, an international motorsport event should also be of interest to the District Administrator and Chairman of the North Sea Tourism Association e.V. Sven Ambrosy and also Mayor of Wilhelmshaven Carsten Feist.

The Jade Race as a platform for tourism, economy, technical innovation, modern vehicle construction and exciting racing events is a unique entertainment program, which even with the increased environmental awareness is still politically desired and should be maintained. In the County of Friesland a lot depends on tourism!

Economically, the Jade Race is certainly not insignificantly lucrative for the airport and generates income that directly relieves the taxpayer. The airfield is operated by the County of Friesland and the city of Wilhelmshaven, each with a 50% share, and is financed by tax money. Landing and take-off fees average between €10 and €45 per aircraft – the Jade-Race UG pays several thousand euros to  rent the facility for three (3!) days.

The airfield also benefits from the Jade-Race in other ways. For example, we provide an airfield cleaning device for several thousand euros free of charge. A “Win/Win” situation!

We hope that with the continued support of the public, our fans, our politicians (District Administrator S. Ambrosy and Minister of the Environment Olaf Lies, Member of Parliament Siemtje Möller), the authorities, the administration and of course the press, we will be given the chance, to continue our race event, which has been so successful and profitable for the region.

We are ready to get together at the table with all responsible persons to discuss and design in an open and transparent manner the best possible version of the Jade Race for the future.

We are fortunate to have avoided the economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis with only a black eye, so we are in a position to hold a Jade Race in 2021.