Following on from the pitlane chaos in Sunday’s Adelaide 500, Supercars will trial closing the pitlane under safety car conditions at this year’s Philip Island Supersprint.
Similar pitlane closures are already used in the United States in attempts to improve the safety for mechinics working in pitlane with Indy Car and NASCAR both using the system.
Sunday’s race in Adelaide saw Chaz Mostert released into the path of Rick Kelly as the majority of the field were in pitlane following the deployment of the safety car. The two made contact with Mostert being thrust sideways as Kelly continued on the throttle momentarily. The cars became stranded as Mostert was beached between the wall and Triple Eight garage. After waiting for Whincup to finish being serviced, he found eventually was able to reverse. The wait resulted in a number of cars including Tim Slade and James Courtney squeezing through a small gap between Mostert’s car and the Triple Eight mechanics working on car #88.
Rick Kelly retired from the race, and Tickford were hit with a penalty for an unsafe relsease.
Whilst the trial at Philip Island is a one-off, it’s already attracted the comments of Tickford boss Tim Edwards.
Edwards told Speedcafe.
“Yes, it’s dangerous, yes, there are always incidents, but for some of the people that watch our sport it’s also entertaining, it adds to the spectacle.”
“You’ve got to remember we are in show business so you’ve got to be a bit careful sanitising it too much, so yeah, two schools of thought. Obviously, we need to make sure it’s a safe working place as well.”
What are your thoughts on the trial? Let me know in the comments below.