Almost 20 teams left without a series
At a special general meeting of competitors and interested parties on April 1, Chairman, of P1 Management, Asif Rangoonwala, announced that his organisation would no longer underwrite the world P1 championship series.
In his statement Asif Rangoonwala said that following seven years of investment totalling almost €30m, Powerboat P1 Management has, like any investor, taken a very careful look at the return on investment which is being generated.
After much deliberation and discussion, he has concluded that the current business model was not only flawed to start with, but is unsustainable even in the short term and in the best interests of the company, the championship and the sport has decided to develop and implement a new business model.
Why is the business unsustainable? Rangoonwala went on:
“As many know, unlike traditional motorsport, powerboating does not enjoy any significant revenue from ticketing or television rights. Added to this is the fact that sponsorship income is very limited for what is very much a niche sport.
We knew this when Powerboat P1 launched in 2003 but we felt it would be possible to overcome these challenges. On reflection, perhaps we were wrong in this assumption as it is proving increasingly challenging for us to obtain the necessary support for the Championship in its current form.”
Asif Rangoonwala felt all areas of powerboat sport lacked its grass roots, an opinion shared by many pundits since club racing virtually disappeared in Britain in the 1990s
The announcement came as a blow to almost 20 teams in the SuperSport and Evolution classes preparing craft for the opening event in the Ukraine on May 7-9. Although three of the five heat series have financial support and local agreement they will need local officials and organisers to stage. Other than attracting volunteer officials from abroad, few local enthusiasts would have UIM authority from the sport’s world governing body to take responsibility for an event of championship status.
Despite their withdrawal P1 Management remains committed to the new SuperStock class which took over from the old Honda Formula 4-Stroke championship. 2010 will be its inaugural year under P1 with a five race championship starting at Penzance on May 21-23.
The organisation is also committed to entering the USA with a new monohull class of racing announced sometime ago.