Economy debate causes Sandown rule review

Wednesday 10th September, 2014 - 9:00am

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Todd Kelly's Nissan taking one of four compulsory stops at Sandown last year

Todd Kelly’s Nissan taking one of four compulsory stops at Sandown last year

The V8 Supercars Commission will today decide whether or not to instate compulsory pitstops for the Wilson Security Sandown 500 amid ongoing debate over fuel economy.

V8 Supercars introduced a compulsory fuel drop for all non-Pirtek Enduro Cup events this year in a bid to minimise the disadvantage faced by teams with higher consumption of the E85.

The Sandown 500, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 events however currently have no equivalency measure in place, potentially hurting those still struggling with economy.

While a fuel drop is considered impractical for the longer races, a late push for compulsory stops to be introduced is being led by Nissan Motorsport owner and Commission member Todd Kelly.

“We’ve had fuel parity measures in place pretty much since the Car of the Future was introduced and it doesn’t really stack up that at the three biggest rounds where it has the most effect it’s found its way out of the regs,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s a surprise to most of the pitlane that it wasn’t in the supplementary regulations for Sandown.”

After much debate led by four-valve engine teams Nissan and Erebus, last year saw four stops mandated for Sandown, which is a potentially three-stop race for the more frugal cars in the field.

Economy looms as a particular point of interest ahead of Sandown this year following a first half of the season dominated by intense engine development across the field.

The category has debuted its engine performance parity formula in 2014, whereby each motor must not exceed a cumulative horsepower figure of 20,654bhp when measured at 50rpm increments between 5,800 and 7,450rpm.

Red Bull’s KRE engines and those from Volvo Polestar set the pace early in the season while others raced to develop and homologate new parts in order to catch up.

Whether the subsequent horsepower arms race has seen any of the top teams fall behind on economy will likely be exposed across the Pirtek Enduro Cup if the Commission rules against the compulsory pitstops.