Supercars Shootout tweak to avoid future controversy

Supercars has changed its Top 10 Shootout rules in a bid to avoid drivers having their laps compromised by a crashed car.

The procedure for the single-lap dash was called into question in Townsville when a spinning Zane Goddard significantly compromised Shane van Gisbergen, who was the next driver in the order.

Van Gisbergen, who was on his warm-up lap. was initially told to abort his run before that decision was reversed after Goddard got moving again.

That left van Gisbergen with little in the way of tyre pressure to begin his lap, the Kiwi unhappy with officials as he qualified just sixth.

Motorsport Australia confirmed at the time that the procedure would be looked at, the result of that investigation now implemented in the rule book.

If there is a red flag in a Shootout cars will now be required to return to pitlane where teams will be allowed to undertake an approved list of work on the car providing they have approval from Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess.

The new rule reads:

If Red Flags are displayed: All cars are to return to pitlane

  • Once a Car returns to its pit bay, the race director will announce a time (approximately five minutes) for the car which did not complete a timed lap to be at pit exit ready to recommence the session.
  •  
  • Any car already at pit exit awaiting its turn will be moved aside by officials or the team if so authorised.

In the case of any car having returned to pitlane and has not been given the opportunity to complete a timed lap, the respective team has the following option subject to the approval of the Supercars Head of Motorsport:

  • Plug in a jump battery
  • Adjust tyre pressures
  • Change tyres
  • Add fuel
  • Other works as may be approved

At the nominated time and provided the incident is cleared, any affected car will be released from pit exit with the session recommencing.

Any actions taken under this procedure are not subject to protest.

“We’ve worked closely with Supercars on implementing these changes in time for the next Repco Supercars Championship round,” said Motorsport Australia's director of motorsport and commercial operations Michael Smith.

“We know that it is rare for red flags to be shown during a Top 10 Shootout, however these changes will provide all drivers, teams and officials with a clear understanding of the procedures, should such an incident occur.”

This is the second tweak to the Shootout procedure this year, after the corner-cutting rules were amended to include cool-down laps in non-race sessions.

That was in response to Cam Waters dragging dirt onto the road after his hot lap during the Mount Panorama 500 weekend.

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