B12Hr regs to address carbon monoxide poisoning

New regulations have been introduced to improve driver safety with regard to carbon monoxide

The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has moved to prevent cases of drivers suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning with a change to the regulations which will become compulsory in 2019.

Organisers have highly recommended the use of helmets with forced air ventilation which runs through a carbon monoxide filter for this weekend’s race.

Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning have emerged at the Bathurst 12 Hour in recent years, most notably when Greg Crick fell seriously ill after ingesting fumes following the 2014 edition.

Last year George Miedecke suffered from inhaling the fumes which was in part due to a breakage in the ventilation system of his car.

The air quality inside the car played a part in the driver falling ill, losing concentration and subsequently crashing in the race.

Speedcafe.com understands the majority of the Bathurst 12 Hour grid has moved to adhere to the regulations already, while Supercars has long used charcoal filters on helmets to combat the issue.

The ruling wasn’t made compulsory for this year’s race to allow drivers time to purchase new helmets to coincide with new regulations that came into force in January.

A combination of heat, the types of fuels being used and periods under the Safety Car contribute increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in some GT3 cars without filters connected to ventilation systems.

Crick, who is acting as DSA this weekend, has long been campaigning for such a move which he believes is extremely important for driver safety.

“This (new rule) is 100 percent positive,” Crick told Speedcafe.com.

“It is something that is extremely important for driver safety, I believe.

“I have campaigned about it ever since it happened to me because I don’t want it to happen to other people.

“There have been at least four or five people that have called me saying they are sick (with it) and how to battle it.

“With the carbon monoxide (in your body) everything goes vague and I was probably running off muscle memory in 2014.

“It is an insidious thing because when it goes into you body it attaches to your red blood cells and gets distributed around the body.

“I used one (filter) religiously after I got poisoned because then you have positive air pressure inside the helmet and nothing can get in there.”

Supercars and Bathurst 12 Hour sporting and technical boss David Stuart says the issue has been a key topic of discussion for the event, which has led to the regulation change to improve driver safety.

“We have discussed it a lot and there is a new helmet regulation coming in which starts from January 1 this year,” Stuart told Speedcafe.com.

“Given this event is early in the year we weren’t 100 percent confident that all of those helmets would have some sort of fan-forced venting on it.

“In Supercars we have had the charcoal filters for a long time and all of our drivers are in tune to it and we also use E85 fuel.

“There are different fuels being used with the category here at the Bathurst 12 Hour so it is a different environment.

“Last year it was highly emphasised at the drivers and team managers briefing to monitor drivers and stay on top of these things.

“Absolutely, it is a positive move for the event.”

The Bathurst 12 Hour continues today with final practice at 0855 local time.

View Speedcafe.com’s comprehensive Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Form Guide, presented by our platinum partner Mercedes-Benz.

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