Less than a month after the end of the Formula One season and a court case about fuel use, motor racing has again been rocked by a similar incident in the lower divisions. The long distance Labour Party Deputy Leadership Race which puts Le Mans to shame has found itself engulfed by multiple fuel scandals putting the reputation of the organiser on the line.
The torment for the sport began last week when the organiser had been found to be purchasing illegal fuel against the rules of the sport's governing body which it helped to draw up. Then it transpired that the Super HH 550bph V12 race winner was found to have used an illegal type of fuel. Meanwhile the team behind the carbon-fibre superlight mid-engine Hainley conceded that it too had made an error in declaring how much fuel it was carrying, meaning it could be fined.
However yesterday afternoon the crisis in the sport was thrown into the spotlight once more when the light orange Hainely was pulled over in Westminster on suspicion of not being totally honest about its statements of the previous week. There were suggestions that the car did not have a full and up to date MOT including a full declaration of how much fuel it really carried in the race.
When the car was stopped the driver and the team admitted that they were driving without a genuine MOT but claimed they were "on the way to get one" when they were stopped. The validity of their statement remains a contentious issue given the timing between the news that fuel declarations were false and the immediate claim that the car was on its way to the sport governing body to sort the mess out. There is now not only the possibility of a fine but the potential for the Hainley's driver to lose his license over the matter.
The wider motor racing world has looked on in despair as yet another scandal has erupted out of nowhere with the possibilty that the reputation of the race's organiser will be ruined for many years to come. In a statement the race organiser said that it "may in future become necessary for all motor racing spectators to pay for the fuel used throughout the rolling season".
Spectator groups are reportendly outaged by the news that they may have to pay for teams they don't support as well as the ticket prices increasing from already historically high levels. The chair of "PetrolHeads" said "the idea that all spectators will have to pay for the fuel in order to stop the teams cheating is bizarre".