24H SERIES organisers Creventic have provided what, in the circumstances, appears to be a very balanced response to Peter Kox’s open letter from last week where he questioned to organiser’s decision to exclude the Scuderia Praha team from the next round, the 12H Italy (Mugello), following a crash with Thomas Martinsson in the Primus Racing Ginetta. The full text of Peter’s letter can be read here. Creventic’s full response is copied below:
CREVENTIC organises races in which gentleman drivers play the most important role. We do believe that respect on and off track, in driving and behaviour, is very important to keep the friendly and special atmosphere for which the 24H SERIES are well-known. CREVENTIC wants to organise races in which drivers feel comfortable, safe and enjoy racing. We would like to avoid that achieving a good result in one of our races or the championship becomes more important than respecting the safety of fellow drivers. CREVENTIC is aware of the fact that all drivers can make mistakes. However, there is a difference in the decisions racing drivers are taking which influences the likeliness of such mistakes. In this particular case, the car of Scuderia Praha did not respect the track limits in an overtaking manoeuvre and when re-joining the track from an unexpected angle, took out Thomas Martinsson in the Primus Racing Ginetta. As a result, the rescue marshals had to cut off the roof of the Ginetta and Thomas Martinsson was transported to the hospital with several fractures. We have been informed that Thomas Martinsson is likely to recover completely from this accident. The other result of this incident is that the Primus Racing team’s Hankook 24H DUBAI race was over and the car is damaged beyond repair. This is an example of behaviour CREVENTIC does not want to see in its races.
Last season CREVENTIC heard several remarks from drivers about the driving style of Scuderia Praha team drivers . They were taking more risks than usual when overtaking other cars. Some competitors used the word “aggressive”. Official complaints were not made however these concerns were, on several occasions, shared with the team. We want to emphasize that the racing incident at Hankook 12H ZANDVOORT 2014, in a crash between the Scuderia Praha team and the Speedworks Motorsport Ginetta resulted in their driver spending weeks in hospital recovering, did not have any influence in this decision.
Endurance racing is a team sport: you win as a team and you lose as a team. Strategy, choice of driver line-up, the attitude towards racing and respect for other competitors are all important factors and should be a shared responsibility. Therefore CREVENTIC decided with regret not to invite Scuderia Praha team for the next round, the Hankook 12H ITALY-MUGELLO. CREVENTIC went in person to the Scuderia Praha pit box (so not by phone) and explained clearly to team manager Jiri Rozkosny how and why they had made the decision to exclude them from the following round. This decision was not an easy one as the Scuderia Praha team is a valued customer that has competed in many CREVENTIC events. CREVENTIC is convinced we need to point out to all our other teams and drivers that we do care about correct driving behaviour and safety. CREVENTIC is aware that the impact of this decision affects the whole Scuderia Praha team, but as pointed out earlier, we consider endurance racing to be a team sport. Therefore, we hope that all our 24H SERIES drivers will realize that such behaviour can cause damage to other teams’ vehicles or can seriously injure drivers, not only can affect the driver who causes such incident, but also can have an impact on the rest of your team mates and team.
The CREVENTIC races generally have a lot of cars but always lower than the maximum according the FIA homologation of the circuit. Although according to the FIA track homologation, 107 cars would have been allowed to start at Dubai Autodrome, CREVENTIC stopped accepting entries at 100 participants. The amount of cars is the reason CREVENTIC is so serious about driving behaviour and safety. Entering in the Hankook 24H DUBAI, every driver and team member knows that there will be a lot of cars, it is a free choice from every team and driver to accept that challenge or not.
We hope to welcome Scuderia Praha at our 12H race in Zandvoort again. If not we respect that decision as well. We are running a FIA sanctioned series. In our FIA-approved regulations is clearly stated that the organisation can refuse an entry. This is done to be able to keep control of our own series. In fact, according to us, more series should use common sense to protect what they have achieved and not to be controlled by forces outside their control. Every team is free to enter, but if you do not agree with our system, atmosphere or approach then it might be better look for another series which is more suitable for you. This is what we stand for.
CREVENTIC is convinced the signal is clear to all drivers and teams. CREVENTIC hopes suspensions in the future will be avoided, however CREVENTIC will not hesitate to act accordingly if we feel it is necessary to protect the way we want enjoy our well beloved endurance sport. We herewith invite Peter for a cup of coffee at our headquarters in Gennep to exchange ideas about this matter, and what we can do to be able to improve things for everyone involved.