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HomeNewsPloy passed to eliminate Supercars double-stacking

Ploy passed to eliminate Supercars double-stacking

THE practice of double-stacking in pitlane has long been a necessarily evil in Supercars.

No longer is that the case.

Supercars driving standards advisor Craig Baird has exclusively revealed via V8 Sleuth’s Race Control podcast a procedural change that quietly came into effect ahead of Race 2 of the Taupō Super400 last Sunday.

That followed chaotic scenes in the early stages of Race 1 as 22 cars scrambled to the pits after the stricken Brad Jones Racing Camaro of Bryce Fullwood triggered a Safety Car period.

The implementation of Supercars’ new Safety Car procedure whereby drivers are required to slow to 80km/h within a 15-second countdown – killing off the dangerous method of racing under yellow flag conditions – has made it even more advantageous to pit while the field is neutralised.

The downside is the traffic jam that can form in the lane, and the consequent safety risk posed to crew members.

That’s led to a solution which Motorsport Australia can utilise at its discretion, where teams will be notified of a two-lap Full Course Yellow phase to allow such pitstops to be spread out without fear of losing track position.

“What we’re going to do is, we will go Safety Car… from that point, basically it is a Full Course Yellow at 80km/h for at least two laps,” explained Baird.

“So the first car can pit, leave, carries on doing 80km/h, the next car can come in (on the second lap), pit, leave, and once the pit cycle is through then we can compress the field and go racing again when the incident is cleaned up.

“I think that is a big move going forward.”

It’s an option which has been made possible by the introduction of FCY technology.

“We’ll guarantee from Race Control we won’t just compress the field until the pit cycle is through,” Baird continued.

“It may happen when there is no pit cycle. If no one is pitting, then we can compress the field earlier.

“But it’s technology and it’s safety, and in this part of the world you can’t come into the pitlane backwards or bulldoze cars out of the road to get to your pit bay.

“As a driver, you’re so desperate to either come in or get out, safety is irrelevant.

“When I talk to a lot of the mechanics in the pitlane, they’ll tell you, ‘we’re scared to be in the pitlane’.

“We can’t have them like that and we have just got to make it better.”

Baird noted the two-lap FCY option might not be as effective or readily used at some circuits such as Bathurst.

That’s because Mount Panorama has a longer pitlane, and the sheer length of the circuit means there’s more likely to be bigger gaps between cars. Two full laps of the Mountain at 80km/h could also be a time-consuming exercise.

Baird reiterated that closing the pitlane under Safety Conditions is undesirable because it boxes teams in strategically.

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