LDM releases data to prove pit speed innocence

Russell Ingall

Russell Ingall

Conjecture over the pitlane speeding penalties handed out at Winton last weekend continues with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport releasing data from Russell Ingall’s car to prove its driver’s innocence.

Ingall joined Rick Kelly in being handed a drive-through penalty for breaking the pitlane speed limit through the five-metre pit entry timing loop in Race 9 at Winton.

The penalties were in addition to those for Scott McLaughlin, Robert Dahlgren and Fabian Coulthard, who were all deemed by the hand-held radar guns elsewhere in pitlane to have broken the 40km/h limit.

While all five drivers displayed surprise at being penalised, Kelly and Ingall were particularly incensed.

Speedcafe.com was shown data from Kelly’s Nissan on Sunday evening at Winton that revealed sub-40km/h wheel speed sensor readings during the time of the adjudged infraction.

A dumbfounded Kelly suggested that a programming issue with the V8 Supercars’ mandated software in the Motec Electronic Control Unit was only plausible explanation for the penalty.

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport has today released an image of data taken from its ECU in order to publicise its displeasure.

“The data shows that it didn’t happen, in fact, car #23 was travelling at 36.3km/h when its speed was recorded to be over the 40km/h limit,” read a statement from LDM.

A snippet of data from Ingall's car released by LDM

A snippet of data from Ingall’s car released by LDM

Ingall, who was was fined $15,000 this week for his comments towards officials at Winton, stands by his team’s findings.

“After my LDM Engineer Brendan went through all the data, it has been confirmed by us that in our opinion we were not speeding in pit lane,” Ingall said.

“It is a shame that we have all this technology in the car that they could utilize after the race to check whether we were speeding or not and add a time penalty if proven, yet they rely on other less accurate means.

“We all have the same system in the car as far as the mandatory pit limiter that is set in the control Motec ECU unit so once that limiter is engaged, it is impossible to go over the 40km, unless you manually disengage it, which would show up on the data.”

V8 Supercars’ general manager of motorsport, Damien White, today wrote on the category’s website that a review into the system is underway.

“In addition to the two radars on pit lane, two timing lines, separated by five metres, are at pit entry,” White wrote in an explanation of the system.

“The timing system does a time over distance calculation, and if the average speed in that distance is greater than 40km/h then a breach has occurred.

“That said, we agree with the fans. It seems crazy to wipe a car out of a race for a speed infraction of one or two km/h.’

“V8 Supercars has commenced a review into the tools, the system and the penalties around pit lane speeding.”

White meanwhile dismissed suggestions that the right-left chicane at Winton’s pitlane entry could have contributed to the situation.

“Both lines are completely parallel, and both are contained in the straight line of the pit entry,” he wrote.

“Across the three days of the Winton event there were 479 entries by the Championship cars for a total of 13 breaches – that’s less than three out of every 100 entries.

“While the nominated speed is a safety measure, we must remain mindful in the review that a performance advantage is had by exceeding it.

“While doing 41km/h over the pit entry line delivers only a 0.01 quicker time over the five metres than someone doing the prescribed 40km/h, let’s not forget to what extent a team may go to in search of that time in qualifying, where a 0.01 can make a three or four starting grid difference.” 

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