T8 keen to adopt Penske leg protection system

Tom Howard

Thursday 11th May, 2017 - 4:00am

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The DJR Team Penske developed leg protection system

Triple Eight is investigating the possibility of fitting a modified version of the DJR Team Penske leg protection system in its cars to adhere to Supercars’ new safety regulations.

Supercars announced last month that the category will make cockpit leg protection mandatory with teams required to fit approved safety devices from the Wilson Security Sandown 500 in September.

Early inspections of the DJRTP developed concept revealed that the product is unable to fit inside the Triple Eight Holden Commodore cockpit sufficiently.

However, having been impressed by the DJRTP developed product, team manager Mark Dutton says the squad’s preferred option will be to run an altered version of the padded Carbon fibre tray device, instead of designing its own product.

The move comes after Dutton advocated the possible introduction of paddle shift gearboxes to reduce the risk of drivers sustaining leg injuries from items in the cockpit in the event of a crash.

Supercars has since issued specifications to teams outlining the requirements for approved leg protection devices.

The category has strived to improve cockpit protection since Chaz Mostert’s horrific crash at the 2015 Bathurst 1000, which resulted in a broken leg for the Prodrive driver.

DJRTP began developing the tray in November 2015 utilising experience and knowledge from its NASCAR operation in America.

“The DJR Team Penske model is really well done, so we are going to look to see if we can make that fit our cars,” Dutton told Speedcafe.com.

“They have done a good job. We don’t just develop things for the sake of doing them ourselves.

“It doesn’t fit our cars so something will have to be changed.

“Our first preferred option is to use the DJR Team Penske model.

“It is proven, there has been a lot of work behind it. There has obviously been some NASCAR experience in the system which is really good.

“If we can’t get it to work in our own cars then we would have to make our own system. We are currently investigating all of that at the moment.”

Since DJRTP debuted the final version of the product at the Clipsal 500 this year, fellow Ford team Prodrive Racing Australia has adopted the system.

Meanwhile, the Mobil 1 HSV Racing Team will also run the device having already made modifications to its cars to enable the installation of the product.

Having taken the lead on improving driver safety, Roger Penske has praised his Penske organisation for its work in addressing the issue.

“I think our guys with our seats and what we have done with leg protection it has been outstanding,” Penske told Speedcafe.com.

“I take my hat off to our guys. Our people back in NASCAR who have developed that for one reason to be sure that our guys have the best they can form a safety perspective.”

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