Supercars drivers forced to 'left foot throttle' to avoid burns
Shane van Gisbergen and Cam Waters have both admitted they were using their left foot on the throttle at times during Saturday's Supercars race at Adelaide due to the extreme temperatures.
The ambient hung around the 40 degrees celsius mark for the entirety of the 250-kilometre race, with cabin temperatures at least 20 degrees above that.
While cool suits and helmet fans are mandatory above 32.5 degrees, and the most teams put in additional cooling measures such as increased cabin ventilation, heat from the pedals continues to be a big problem at the Adelaide race.
Triple Eight went to the extent of putting a fan in the footwell of its Holdens, however that alone wasn't enough for van Gisbergen to keep cool.
He says he needed to use his left foot on the throttle down the straights and actually hold his right foot over the fan.
Luckily it's something he's somewhat accustomed to, van Gisbergen admitting he does it regularly to avoid leg cramps.
"I felt really good in the car. The team has worked on cooling in the car, and it was quite okay... better than I thought," he said after finishing third today.
"It was just my feet were hot, from the temperature and the pressure. I was left foot on the throttle down most of the straights, and put my right foot on the fan. It cooled down a bit once it started doing that.
"I do it most races, because my legs cramp. I normally have to stretch out down the straights. I left foot most straights anyway."
Waters was another driver forced into using his non-preferred foot on the throttle, despite running heat shields in his boot.
"My right foot is pretty bad," he said. "It's a burn on the outside edge.
"I was trying to get it up to a cool spot in the cabin, which is up near the windscreen, which did help me a little bit. I'd come out of the corner using my right foot, then switch really quickly and put my foot up.
"It just helps get your foot in a cooler spot in the car, the footwell is really hot for us.
"I tried some inserts but they didn't really work. It kind of all moved in the boot when it got hot."
Heat was a key factor in Waters' race thanks to a failed cool suit. He was forced to pit to have it repaired under Supercars regulations, robbing him of a chance to fight for a podium after running fourth in the early stages.
Waters was left fuming by the decision, having been confident he could tackle the heat even without a functioning cool suit.
"I was upset about it. I was good to go," he said.
"The cabin temperature had neutralised, I still had helmet air, still had cold drink, stuff like that.
"I was disappointed they made me pit. This is what I train all year for. I went running every day in 44 degree heat in Mildura [over the break].
"If I was getting ridiculous and unsafe I would have pitted. It needs to be in my hands, because I was feeling fine.
"You never know, the next pitstop we could have pulled the window out and that probably would have been all I needed.
"I'd like [the rule] changed."
Cameron Waters, Tickford Racing Ford
Photo by: Dirk Klynsmith / LAT Images
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