iMBRA 2024 Nitro Limit
iMBRA introduces nitromethane limit from 2024
Following intensive consultations with member countries and understanding the need to safeguard the unity and solidarity in our sport, the iMBRA Committee decided to introduce a new rule limiting the use of nitromethane, starting from 1 January 2024. The rule will maximize nitro content at exactly 16% in weight, which is approx 12% in volume. The rule will keep the possibility to use self-mixed fuels and will also include a reference value for the density of allowed fuels (g/ccm).
The Committee’s decision is based on EU Regulation 2019/1148, strictly limiting the use of nitromethane. As a result of this regulation, 8 of our member countries have no legal access to fuel mixtures containing more than 16% nitromethane anymore. These countries include France, Germany and Italy, some of our biggest members, representing lots of active racers. Hungary, the organizer of the 2024 Endurance World Championships, has also indicated that most probably it cannot legally provide nitromethane to foreign racers. We believe the number of affected countries will grow in the next few years, so we need to act now.
At this point iMBRA needs to stay true to its own principles, showing solidarity among countries to keep racing fair and iMBRA’s membership united. Nitro limitation (without the need for centrally supplied fuel) has already been successfully used in model car racing, so there are good examples to look at. Throughout the 2023 season, the iMBRA Committee will explore the most efficient ways of testing fuel, also relying on proposals from all racers and member countries. The work is ongoing and we are currently considering the following points to be included in the rule book, as of 1 January 2024:
- tests will measure the density (g/ccm) of the fuel used by competitors
- a reference figure for the density of regular fuels will be specified in the rule
- an added level of tolerance will be specified in the rule, allowing different types and percentages of oils to be used by competitors
- test samples will be taken by officials directly from the boats, right after heats or finals
- a minimum amount of fuel for the tests must be available in each of the boats after the heats or finals (this minimum amount will be specified in the rule)
- potential testing devices: floating device (mainly for local races), highly accurate electronic device to be used at bigger races and World Championships
- racers will have the possibility to check their own fuel before race start to make sure their mixture is regular.
These points include our first ideas and once again we would like to emphasize the importance of working together to find the best solutions for the future of our sport. The iMBRA Committee will finalize the new rule, including the testing methods on 1 January 2024. Till then, all ideas to improve the implementation are more than welcome.
The rule change will not affect the 2023 season, so the Hydro and Offshore European Championships this July in Poland will be the last major championship running without nitro limitation.
Ljubljana, Budapest, 10 April, 2023
Ian and Andras
on behalf of the iMBRA Committee