FIM decide on Lettenbichler vs Roman HEWC points protest
In advance of tomorrow’s Hard Enduro World Championship showdown at Hixpania Hard Enduro between title contenders Manuel Lettenbichler and Mario Roman, the FIM has made a final decision on Sherco’s results appeal from round five, Romaniacs.
Enduro21 learned this week that the decision had been made but it has now become official, this weekend’s final curtain call on the 2022 Hard Enduro World Championship will be decided on the race result and not an FIM meeting after the event.
For many months now the HEWC standings have been in doubt because Sherco protested a decision to impose a time penalty on Manuel Lettenbichler for receiving outside assistance in fixing his clutch on day one at Romaniacs.
It was a decision some felt was at odds with both the FIM rules and certainly Graham Jarvis’s disqualification for a similar offence at Erzbergrodeo.
Both riders were deemed to have received outside assistance in fixing mechanical issues during a race and in theory that is not allowed under FIM rules.
The championship regulations state: “Any repairs or adjustments must be made by the rider, working alone with no outside assistance.” You can take help from another competitor but in both cases the organisers and FIM jury at the event found riders had taken assistance from a third party (team member).
Elsewhere, confusingly, it states, “riders breaking the Rules shall be sanctioned by the Clerk of the Course or by the FIM International Jury” adding that receiving outside assistance except where authorised can result in anything from a 30 seconds time penalty to disqualification. It made for a good deal of confusion due to the inconsistency in interpretation of the rules.
Sherco’s protest adjudicated
Sherco Factory Racing protested the decision made by the FIM Jury at round five, Romaniacs, because it allowed Lettenbichler to continue racing and he gained 10 championship points. By this final round at Hixpania that means Mani has a four point lead over Sherco’s Mario Roman.
The matter left a question mark over the points standings at this final round – an asterisk hung at the bottom of every official communication since Romaniacs – and the previous information was the FIM would address the issue after the series had finished.
Enduro21 outlined the issues in a separate story: Hixpania Hard Enduro – HEWC title decider or not?
But the FIM has finally ruled and it is official, no further action will be taken. The series promoters say John Collins, FIM CEN Director, has made public the final decision on the appeal against the final results from round five of the championship, Red Bull Romaniacs.
The official communication states the protest has been adjudicated by the FIM and “therefore the current standings of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship stay valid without any changes.”
That means tomorrow will see the final race day of the HEWC season decide the championship outcome. As we said already, in the interest of the sport, may the best man win.