Supercars Get A Leg Up On Safety

New Rules...

26 June 2017

Article heading image for Supercars Get A Leg Up On Safety

Leg protection's been a hot topic ever since Chaz Mostert's horrific crash at Bathurst back in 2015 when his legs got wedged against his car's gear shifter.

Extra protection for the legs will soon be the rule - by the first of the Pirtek Enduro Cup events in fact.

But there's no one way to do it with several teams going it alone on new systems.

Championship leaders Shell V-Power Racing drew on its Penske links with a design borrowing ideas from NASCAR.

What the inside of the Penske cockpit looks like

The system's been in use by the team since last year, and now other squads like Prodrive are interested in using it too.

With the Sandown deadline looming, Triple Eight, Garry Rogers Motorsport and Nissan Motorsport have all lodged their own designs for leg protection systems with Supercars.

Specifically, the T8 design replaces the small pad installed next to the gear shifter.

The team's Mark Dutton told it's likely other Holden squads will want to use it too.

“One of our young engineers has done a cracking job with it and we’ve put a lot of effort into making sure we don’t in any way make it more difficult for a driver to get out.

“The Symmons Plains accident was a good reminder for all of us during this process that we want to make drivers safer but not captive in the car.

“We’re pushing to have it ready as early as we can. We’ve got a big order to fill so there’s a lot of work to be done there.”

GRM's Richard Hollway says cost was one reason why they gave the Penske design a miss.

“We’ve modified our dash panel as well to make sure we’ve got some more room in there to give us more clearance for the driver changes." he said.

“Doing it in-house also means we can do it a bit cheaper, using a locally sourced material rather than what they (Penske) have gotten out of the US.

“We’re getting the drawings for the tooling done right now and hope to have it in the cars for Sydney Motorsport Park.”

As for the Erebus guys, they're confident the AMG-designed "E-cell" carbon fibre structure which sits around the driver and extends to the footwell is already good enough.

“We’re currently talking to Supercars about it. We might end up putting a little bit of extra padding in there, but we don’t think it’ll really add anything" said the team's Barry Ryan.

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