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HomeNewsThe next step for Supercars’ new safety system?

The next step for Supercars’ new safety system?

SUPERCARS star Chaz Mostert has suggested an improvement to further enhance the championship’s new on-track safety system.

The Full Course Yellow procedure was used for the first time in Supercars history at last month’s Bathurst 500, after a broken spindle caused a wheel to peel off Cam Waters’ Monster Energy Mustang and roll down towards Griffins Bend.

Neutralising the field at 80km/h under the FCY allowed officials to clear the stray wheel before letting racing resume as quickly as possible.

Its introduction was generally considered smooth, although Mostert believes it can be made clearer yet for drivers.

“The system I used over in Europe was a separate module away from your dash,” he said.

“You’re so used to seeing your race dash and all that information on there, even when the background changes yellow and you start to see numbers and you’re looking at speed and all that kind of stuff, it’s a little bit full-on on that screen.

Chaz Mostert. Pic: Ross Gibb

“The (24 Hours of) Spa system we used was amazing, because it was like a little square separate box that told you the countdown and the yellow flag and stuff like that.

“So for me, if I was to push a point, I’d try to push for that system because it’s just a bit separate from it all.”

As a concept, FCY has been a hot topic, and one which triggered plenty of questions in the Mailbag segment of this week’s Motorsport News Podcast.

In essence, the new system is two-part: the first involves slowing drivers down to a safe speed sooner (a 15-second countdown to activate an 80km/h limiter), and the second is the choice between maintaining a FCY or escalating to a full Safety Car period.

While the countdown phase has been widely lauded for eliminating the dangerous practice of racing under Safety Car conditions, the lack of field compression under the Virtual Safety Car-esque FCY is less popular from an entertainment standpoint – even within race control.

“Is everyone a fan of the Full Course Yellow? Probably not, but for those very minor (incidents), I think it’s not a bad tool,” Supercars driving standards advisor Craig Baird said on the most recent Race Control podcast.

“But our Safety Car procedure has changed as well.

“So, Safety Car, we had a real fear, and so did the drivers, of racing back to pitlane. It was actually a catch-up board, not a safety board.

“Now what we do is when the Safety Car is going to be deployed, we count that down. So the Safety Car will go on standby, the race director will then count in to all of the limiters being on, which is that 15-second period.

“That may change, to me it is a little bit long, but we want feedback from the drivers… it may end up at 10 seconds, it may end up at eight seconds, but they are the ones that know what they need. Those things are adjustable and may change a little bit to perfect both systems: Full Course Yellow and Safety Car.

“So the Safety Car, once they are down on their limiter and once we’re happy and the recovery teams are happy… we’ll say ‘we’re happy to compress the field’, limiters can be turned off, we compress the field and then we’re back to a normal Safety Car restart.

“Which is what everyone wants.”

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