Support for tyre bundles among Supercars drivers
Monday 31st October, 2022 - 6:00am
There is support for tyre bundles from at least some Supercars drivers despite criticisms following a monster crash at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.
Race 32 of the Repco Supercars Championship was red-flagged on Lap 4 as a result of a pile-up at Surfers Paradise’s Beach Chicane which was triggered when James Golding clouted a tyre bundle while running 10th.
The impact dislodged said bundle, which was then struck by at least two of the following cars, but also sent Golding spinning into the barriers and left several others unable to avoid carnage.
Nick Percat was out of the race on the spot while James Courtney spent a considerable period in the garage as Tickford Racing patched up his #5 Mustang, and both were critical of the use of tyre bundles.
THE FINAL RACE OF THE 2023 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST STREET CIRCUITS. GO ALL IN AT THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500, CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
“Disappointing that in this day and age we use a used tyre from a garbage bin and we write off six cars,” said the former.
While Will Davison was among those leading the driver complaints about perceived inconsistencies in the kerb sensor system, he backed the use of tyre bundles.
“That’s probably a bit of an emotional comment,” said the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver.
“Tyre bundles are nothing new so I think we all agree that the tyre bundles are a good solution instead of the electronic sensor.
“That’s what they’re there for, and they’re behind the sausage kerb, which was also to try and pre-empt us using the kerbs years ago – tyre bundle, sausage kerb – so yeah, they’re all in place.
“I don’t think there’s an issue with the tyre bundles but, of course, [on] street tracks, they will cause an accident.
“If you’re going into that chicane and you’re coming in hot, you do have to realise you’ve got to possibly abort the last apex.
“[They are] part and parcel of street tracks so I don’t really know that getting rid of them will be the ultimate solution.
“But the sensors were… I don’t know if anyone got bad sportsmanship flags then [in Race 32] but I think it’s sort of nearly ignored in the race, like it should have been in qualifying to be honest; the same.”
Shane van Gisbergen had a broadly similar view.
“The accident today, [they] probably didn’t contribute,” the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver opined.
“I think the bundles are probably our best option.”
Davison, van Gisbergen, Cameron Waters, and Chaz Mostert apparently helped organise some sort of petition among the drivers, who also met with Supercars, after becoming frustrated with the sensors in Friday practice.
In the end, however, the sensors remained and the only change was the pushing back of the tyre bundle at Turn 1, the start of the front chicane complex.
Davison and van Gisbergen maintain that the sensors should have been turned off, and while the latter reasoned that abuse of the kerbs is self-penalising, he admitted that simply installing a tyre bundle at the middle of the front chicane, the only part of that complex with a track limits loop, was not an option.
“Yeah, turn them off,” said the New Zealander in agreement with his Dick Johnson Racing counterpart, “especially the back straight.
“We all didn’t think cutting the bundles too much was faster; you’d go too high and it would hurt you for later in the corner.
“Turn 2 though, there was not much of a solution there; putting a bundle there was just really dangerous.
“But yeah, the back straight, they just said no.
“I guess they can’t have people going flat through there and having a big shunt, so I kind of understand that but yeah, it’s a hard one.”