V8 Supercars will not re-install the speed humps at the exit of Sandown’s final corner after they broke up early in this morning’s first practice session.
The humps had been introduced ahead of the weekend in a bid to stop drivers from running on the concrete verge that separates the exit kerb from the grass – an area long utilised by drivers to gain extra speed down the circuit’s main straight.
The first of the two humps began to break up in the opening minutes of Practice 1 this morning as drivers experimented with running over them, leading to a bolt becoming exposed and the session stopped. Both humps were subsequently removed under the red flags and not replaced for the remainder of the day.
The drivers were then assured by V8 Supercars after Practice 3 that the humps will not return for the weekend.
Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison said he was not surprised to see the issue with the set-up occur so quickly.
“They (the humps) were never going to stop us using that piece of road,” he said after Practice 3.
“All it did was make us clip the first one, which tore it up and exposed a bolt.
“We all sort of laughed at it yesterday when we saw it. We didn’t know whose idea it was and we knew it wasn’t going to stop us doing anything. I wasn’t surprised that five minutes in there was a red flag to remove it.
“At the end of the day at certain corners we go to they let us run out wide (by) a full car width and at other corners they say you’ve got to keep two wheels on the race track, so it’s terribly inconsistent.”
Davison’s TeamVodafone rival Jamie Whincup believes that only a ‘saw tooth’ kerb, such as those seen at Sydney Motorsport Park and Phillip Island, would keep the drivers off of the concrete verge.
“They clearly didn’t quite do what they were supposed to do,” said Whincup of the speed humps.
“To throw in my ‘two bobs’; to fix the problem you put a proper ‘saw tooth’ kerb in.
“I think they went for a fix that was under $100 and it didn’t quite work.”
A fourth and final 40 minute practice session will take place for the V8 Supercars tomorrow morning followed by a 20 minute qualifying session and two 20 lap qualifying races to set the grid for Sunday’s Dick Smith Sandown 500.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sandown 500 Race Guide