The Red Bull Holden Racing Team has conducted a scientific movement analysis of its pit crew in an effort to improve its pit stop performance.
Working in the biomechanics lab at the Australian Catholic University, a crew member was analysed while performing a wheel change and other tasks.
Fitted with reflectors, scientists recorded the crew member’s actions with cameras projecting infra-red light at high speed to create a 3D model.
It’s planned that the data will allow the ACU’s biomechanics team to develop safer, more efficient and faster movements for the crew during stops.
“Even small differences in technique can influence a pit crew member’s efficiency and balance during a wheel change; costing them time,” explained ACU biomechanist Dr Michael Cole.
“We’re confident this collaboration can identify a competitive advantage for Triple Eight.”
The analysis is the first step in a partnership between the team and university, with further research in strength and conditioning, nutritional plans, and opportunities for masters students to be placed with the team all set to follow.
“A pitstop has been the difference between first and second in the past,” Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton said.
“There’s been times when we’ve come in behind another car and exited in front. It’s happened the other way around too.
“It is that critical. And raises the pressure on the crew.
“Everyone likes cool toys. We work on racing cars,” Dutton added.
“We don’t undervalue the lure of having access to expertise and equipment that’s not accessible to everyone.”
Pit crews will come under scrutiny next weekend when the Supercars Championship’s Pirtek Enduro Cup begins with the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.