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POLL: Did changes to Supercars make for better racing?

Simon Chapman

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Monday 29th June, 2020 - 2:00pm

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Sydney Motorsport Park

After Supercars made a raft of rule changes, in this week’s Pirtek Poll we want to know whether you thought the racing was better at Sydney Motorsport Park.

In the lead up to the BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint, Supercars announced several rule revisions to cut costs and spice up the racing.

G-force sensors and brake temperature sensors were removed. Live data access was restricted and data logger access was prohibited until the end of the event.

The number of rattle guys allowed to be used was also cut from four to two and only six people could cross the control line.

Supercars also restricted the amount of personnel to 13 crew per two-car team, including drivers.

Notably, Supercars removed the need to refuel with races reduced 32-lap races (125km).

Perhaps the biggest change was the limitations on Dunlop soft tyres.

The net result of tyre restrictions and a typically high wear Sydney Motorsport Park meant strategies were largely mixed as some teams opted to take either two, three, or four tyres.

Scott McLaughlin won the first race of the weekend, but was fortunate not to cede position to compatriot Shane van Gisbergen who pitted later and attacked in the dying moments.

Having only taken two tyres in the first race of the weekend, Nick Percat was well placed for the second affair.

He started the race on fresher tyres and made headway from fifth on the grid to be second on the road before his pit stop.

The likes of van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard were big losers in the opening stint, losing significant ground as they sacrificed tyres in the first leg of the race for a stronger second half.

Percat briefly took the lead after Jamie Whincup pitted, running longer and putting fresh tyres on shortly thereafter.

With his Holden ZB Commodore fitted with newer tyres, he caught the seven-time champion, passed for the lead on merit, and duly won the race.

Having dropped to 21st after his first pit stop, van Gisbergen climbed to seventh.

The final affair was won by McLaughlin once more but nearly saw Lee Holdsworth come through to snatch the win.

Todd Hazelwood was well placed for a podium too, but suffered an anti-roll bar failure at the end of his first stint.

While passing wasn’t as prominent in Race 7 where strategies weren’t as varied, Race 8 and Race 9 saw plenty of passing and two very close fights for the podium.

Team owners and drivers have apportioned some of the success to the high wear nature of Sydney Motorsport Park.

Most are conscious that the next round at Winton Motor Raceway may bring different results and have signalled a desire for more changeable strategy.

After McLaughlin and Percat shared the spoils last weekend, in this week’s Pirtek Poll we want to know whether you thought the racing was better at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Pirtek Poll

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