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Supercars defends rulebook, pushes for fewer post-race investigations

Tom Howard

Thursday 20th December, 2018 - 4:20pm

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Hawk-Eye in operation at the Gold Coast this year

Supercars boss Sean Seamer has defended suggestions that the championship’s rulebook needs an overhaul but is pushing for further use of Hawk-Eye to help stewards make key decisions in-race.

The championship came under fire from both the paddock and fans at Pukekohe and Newcastle when the results of the Saturday races were declared the following day after lengthy post-race stewards investigations and protests.

Saturday’s race at Pukekohe ended under a cloud when stewards reviewed a case of spinning wheels during race winner Shane van Gisbergen’s final pit stop.

Officials delivered a verdict of no penalty late on Saturday night, but this was then protested by Shell V-Power Racing which was ultimately dismissed on the Sunday.

Stewards called upon a precedent, which is not stipulated in the rulebook, that if wheels do not complete a full rotation then there is no breach of regulations.

Three weeks later van Gisbergen was stripped of his victory in Saturday’s race at the Newcastle finale after a pit stop refuelling infringement.

But the decision was only handed down on the Sunday morning of the championship finale, several hours after racing had ended the previous day.

Supercars has attempted to speed up its judicial investigations and decision making with the introduction of Hawk-Eye technology, which offers officials a plethora of data and vision at a split second to analyse incidents during the race.

The system’s advantage stems around the speed it can call up footage from a session for officials analyse.

Prior to the use of Hawk-Eye, the race director would only have access to the broadcast footage and have to ask the outside broadcast truck for the Fox Sports vision to be sent to Race Control at a convenient moment.

Seamer believes that the championship’s rulebook, which was overhauled prior to this season, is sufficient, but feels the series should do more to ensure decisions are made during the race.

“I think we have got a really good rulebook,” said Seamer when asked by Speedcafe.com.

“If you ask anyone from any other series around the world they will tell you that.

“There are always going to be situations where precedents and interpretations may not be liked by everybody but the reality is that the stewards do the best job they can possibly do with the information and the time that they have available.

“My view is what we need to do a better job of is helping the stewards arrive at the decisions in-race, and that is why we have been putting a lot of time and effort into Hawk-Eye.

“Despite the challenges which we have had at Pukekohe, but also at Newcastle, and I know there was some open frustrations around how those results and penalties were arrived at and handed down, there were also a lot of other incidents that were able to be reviewed in-race as a result of Hawk-Eye that we wouldn’t have been able to do.

“Will everybody always be happy with the decision from the stewards? I think that is unrealistic to expect. Should our fans expect us to at least handle those as much within the race? absolutely.

“We will keep working on that next year.”

Hawk-Eye software was trialled at Darwin, Gold Coast and Newcastle this year with the system expected to be used at more rounds next year.

“We are working through what the 2019 plan looks like with Hawk-Eye,” added Seamer.

“You can expect to certainly see it at the tracks that tend to generate the most controversy.”

CLICK HERE for a detailed look at how the Hawk-Eye system works.

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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