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Friday, February 23, 2024

DTM rejects drivers’ demand for repeater lights in rolling begins

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The German-based class switched to Indy-style, two-by-two rolling begins following the introduction of GT3 laws in 2021, with the identical process additionally relevant after every security automobile interval.

Nonetheless, DTM begins got here beneath hearth after a chaotic first race on the Norisring this month when 16 out of 27 vehicles retired from motion, many through the unique begin or instantly after one the 4 security automobile restarts.

Porsche driver Laurens Vanthoor claimed “70% of the sector can’t see the lights” this yr following a large leap in entries, with the visibility of begin lights having been much less of a problem in 2021 when solely 19 vehicles have been current.

However the DTM has all however dominated out including further begin lights in the course of the season, having been glad by a particular drivers’ briefing that led to a trouble-free second race on the Norisring.

“I see it equally to the state of affairs with the [AF Corse] pit stops final yr and subsequently see no cause to interrupt this continuity in the middle of the season,”DTM Technical Director Michael Resl advised Autosport’s sister web site Motorsport-Complete.com.

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“This shouldn’t be taken to imply that we’re shirking accountability, however there are guidelines that have been laid down earlier than the season. And if you happen to have been to need to change one thing at present, then that entails a rat’s tail of different modifications, which in flip trigger different issues.”

Drivers complained a couple of lack of visibility of begin lights as early because the opening spherical of the season at Portimao again in April. 

The DTM thought of a number of choices to deal with the difficulty, together with the addition of repeater lights and the race director signaling the beginning over radio, however no passable answer might be reached.

“The largest downside with the repeater lights is that you need to deliver them into line with the prevailing launch system,” mentioned Resl. “It’s important to synchronise every part. This isn’t solely trivial – and may result in errors.”

DTM’s supervisor for sports activities and expertise Layla Wagener added: “We must buy a whole beginning lights system – with our personal beginning lights, repeater lights and pit exit lights.

“A mixed system shouldn’t be possible as a result of completely different observe infrastructure and completely different begin gentle programs.”

Begin / End Lights

Photograph by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Apparently, the DTM did arrange a separate begin lights system together with repeater lights for every race through the Class One years, however again then standing begins have been nonetheless the order of the day. 

Resl was sympathetic of the difficulty confronted by drivers, however was adamant {that a} second set of beginning lights wasn’t essential.

“I agree with everybody who complains as a result of they do not know when the lights flip inexperienced in a standing begin,” he mentioned.

“However with a rolling begin in NASCAR and within the IndyCar Collection, the sector is consistently shifting. There, the beginning place modifications repeatedly because of the driver in entrance of you.”

Drivers do obtain details about the race begin from their engineer over group radio. Nonetheless, Resl and Wgener really feel a centralised system involving the race director asserting the beginning is fraught with points. 

“It shouldn’t be within the energy of the race director to provide the beginning radio,” Resl defined.

“Each driver is in radio contact along with his race engineer, however even there there may be pleasure as a result of there may be a one-second time delay. However that is not our downside as a result of it is as much as the group which radio supplier they use and the way effectively that works.”

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Wagener added: “For that cause as organisers, we won’t assure that each radio system will work correctly always. That is why we do not see a begin sign by way of radio as being purposeful in the mean time.”

That mentioned, the DTM will take into account the introduction of a second set of lights subsequent yr, offered it may be calibrated with the principle lighting gantry to keep away from any delays.

“We’re wanting on the applied sciences and also will take a look at them,” Resl mentioned.

“We can’t use them this yr, but when the race administrators see a threat within the begin sequence and we have examined an answer by then the place we have no failures and every part is synchronised, then I would not need to rule out that we’ll see one thing like that at sure circuits.”

Nonetheless, Resl does not need to hear complaints in regards to the present answer not being truthful.

“When you qualify worse, you might have worse circumstances – that is simply the way in which it’s. Then you definately’re additional away from the site visitors lights,” he concluded.

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