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Supercars tweaks pitlane release rules after Whincup incident

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Supercars tweaks pitlane release rules after Whincup incident
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Supercars has tweaked the pitlane release rules following contact between Jamie Whincup and Fabian Coulthard in the final race of the Darwin Triple Crown.

Triple Eight released Whincup just as Coulthard was about to turn in from the fast lane to enter the DJR Penske pitbox, which is located right ahead of T8’s.

That forced Coulthard to slam the brakes and the two made minor contact, although both were able to continue without any serious damage to their cars.

The incident was investigated by the stewards, but Triple Eight was cleared of any wrongdoing, allowing Whincup to beat Coulthard and become only the second driver in history to win the Darwin Triple Crown after Scott McLaughlin.

Whincup managed to escape a penalty because of the wording in the regulations, which state that a driver must “give way to a car already wholly in the fast lane”.

This didn’t cover for the situation Coulthard found himself in, as he was turning in on his way to his pitbox while he made contact with Whincup.

Supercars has now widened the definition of the regulations, with the new rule stating that “a Car being released from its Pit Bay must do so without impeding any other Car in Pit Lane”.

The new ruling has received full support from the Supercars Commission, according to Supercars’ Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess.

“We all saw what happened last week,” Burgess told Supercars.com.

“[Driving Standards Advisor] Craig Baird correctly adjudicated the situation by the way the rulebook was written.

“I think everyone has acknowledged it was handled correctly from that perspective, but did it pass the pub test? Probably not.

“We don’t want teams to believe they can just launch it out of the box without any care for anyone coming through the working lane.

“Craig and I had discussions about it early in the week and I tabled a solution at the Commission, where it was fully supported, including by Jamie himself.

“You can’t write the rulebook for every single eventuality, but we’ve tidied that little area up.

“That’s a process that all sports have to go through from time to time with their rules.”

Supercars is hosting another round at the Hidden Valley this weekend under the Darwin Supersprint banner.

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About this article

Series Supercars
Author Rachit Thukral