Injuries prompt V8 pitstop rule change

The Brad Jones Racing crew effect a pitstop on the #8 Team BOC Commodore

The Brad Jones Racing crew effect a pitstop on the #8 Team BOC Commodore

Reports of back injuries sustained by V8 Supercars pit crew members have prompted a change in the category’s pitstop regulations.

From this weekend onwards, ‘no less than two’ crew members must assist in changing each wheel during a pitstop – previously the role of one person.

To correspond with the new requirement, the maximum number of crew allowed to attend the car will increase from six to eight.

The rule revision comes after more than one team reported to V8 Supercars that its crew members had been receiving treatment for back injuries sustained in the tyre changing process.

V8 Supercars operations manager Damien White explained to Speedcafe.com that the V8 Supercars Commission had deemed the regulation change as an effective solution.

“In the view of some teams, one person rattling the wheel off, twisting, taking the wheel off, putting it down, twisting again to put the new wheel on, there was a risk of injury,” said White.

“The idea from the Commission we needed to take away some of the load and strain to the lower back strain of the person changing the wheel.

“The most effective way that we could deliver that was to make two people share that load during the process of changing the wheel.”

Brad Jones Racing was one of the teams that instigated supported the move.

“Some of the guys on our team are not built like grid iron players, so it’s great that V8 Supercars have taken on some new OH and S (Occupational Health and Safety) policies to make our sport a bit safer,” BJR team manager Chris Clark told Speedcafe.com.

“We’ve had some guys with some back problems earlier on in the season.

“It will help them pick up the weight of a gun and wheel and then twist. I think it’s a good idea.”

The new rule has not garnered unanimous support however, with some members of pitlane expressing concern to Speedcafe.com that having more people involved in the pitstops will actually increase the risk of injuries.

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