V8 Supercars has made a raft of changes to its Safety Car restart regulations following the carnage seen at Adelaide’s season-opener earlier this month.
Although the Acceleration Zone remains in place, the speed range in which the cars must travel before the leader enters the zone and accelerates has been lifted from 50-60km/h up to 60-80km/h.
While those back in the pack were previously able to race once the leader had accelerated, cars will no longer be able to overtake before the control line.
The Acceleration Zone will also be lengthened, while there will no longer be a green flag from the starter’s box.
The flag had previously signified that all cars were formed up correctly and that the restart could take place once the leader chose to accelerate.
A V8 Supercars statement explained that the changes have been made to both simplify the system and make the restarts easier to police.
“The Commission agreed that a higher speed limit would better place drivers to prepare for the restart and offer a larger speed variance to avoid exceeding the speed limit,” read the statement.
“Using the control line as a determination point would ensure that cars did not unfairly overlap prior to restart and the AZ zone lengthened, to be determined circuit by circuit, allowing for more strategy at the restart.
“The green flag will no longer be waved from the starters’ box which may cause confusion amongst the field and give control back to the race leader, as has previously been the case, to restart the field.
“The Commission also considered a double file restart but deemed that because circuits cannot be swept or cleaned during a Safety Car this would disadvantage drivers on a particular side of the track.”
Double-file starts and restarts had both been used at the recent non-championship Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix support races.
Double-file restarts were first used by V8 Supercars to start the second leg of the 60/60 Super Sprint races last year, which was coupled with the introduction of the Acceleration Zone concept.
Prior to this year, all Safety Car restarts had seen the leader able to accelerate once the Safety Car had pulled into pitlane.
The first running under the new-for-2014 rules in Adelaide saw race leaders Shane van Gisbergen and Rick Kelly both penalised for jumping a restart.
The same restart saw a mutli-car accident that claimed the Team BOC Holden of Jason Bright and triggered widespread condemnation of the procedure.