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Old 6 Feb 2018, 23:27 (Ref:3799141)   #1
db120176
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Sulman Park Safety

The Bathurst 12 Hour bought another big crash at Sulman Park. It seems that every event, especially the 1000, brings an accident there where driver safety is compromised. I haven't visited this section of the circuit; are there changes that can be made to that section either to improve sightlines for drivers approaching? Or could the area on the outside of the turn be made a run-off area like the one created at McPhillamy Park rather than a brick wall?
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Old 6 Feb 2018, 23:53 (Ref:3799146)   #2
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The Bathurst 12 Hour bought another big crash at Sulman Park. It seems that every event, especially the 1000, brings an accident there where driver safety is compromised. I haven't visited this section of the circuit; are there changes that can be made to that section either to improve sightlines for drivers approaching? Or could the area on the outside of the turn be made a run-off area like the one created at McPhillamy Park rather than a brick wall?
I've read somewhere (maybe Speedcafe?) someone's suggestion to chop down a few trees near the apex just after the grate, which I think combined with moving the wall back driver's left may improve the visibility around the corner in a sightline they are already focused on, potentially removing some of the dependence on the flaggies for safety. Not sure how much would be required in terms of earthworks

Moving the wall back on driver's right I think removes the challenge of one of the best corners requiring the highest level of commitment to get it right, and fast.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 00:17 (Ref:3799149)   #3
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I've read somewhere (maybe Speedcafe?) someone's suggestion to chop down a few trees near the apex just after the grate, which I think combined with moving the wall back driver's left may improve the visibility around the corner in a sightline they are already focused on, potentially removing some of the dependence on the flaggies for safety. Not sure how much would be required in terms of earthworks

Moving the wall back on driver's right I think removes the challenge of one of the best corners requiring the highest level of commitment to get it right, and fast.
I would rather see lights involved and strongly penalise drivers that turned a blind eye to the yellows on a blind turn, no doubt on the basis of 'oh its just going to be a car parallel parked against the wall' rather than broadside across the track.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 00:31 (Ref:3799152)   #4
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If they want to hold events there of international status, then the safety measures need to be of an international standard.

Much has been said by various people within the sport from all levels, that the systems and policies in place now, are no longer adequate for that part of the track, for the likes of GT and Supercars.

Short term solution would be to implement proper lighting systems that can be operated instantaneously from the relevent flag points, and most importantly, positioned where drivers can actually see them at all times of the day. I cannot 100% confirm, but the current situation relies on a call from Race Control to allow the lights to function. When approach speeds are north of 200km/h, with almost no room to take evasive action, you tell me if this is good enough. It is also alleged that the lights are not very effective due to their design and postion, and are difficult to sight by the drivers.

Long term, could perhaps involve moving some walls back.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 00:52 (Ref:3799156)   #5
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Track was recently approved by the FIA. However thats should be a reason to stop any improvements

We must be wary of jumping to any conclusions too early.

Would appear to need some improvement in signalling at minimum though
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 00:54 (Ref:3799158)   #6
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Short term solution would be to implement proper lighting systems that can be operated instantaneously from the relevent flag points, and most importantly, positioned where drivers can actually see them at all times of the day. I cannot 100% confirm, but the current situation relies on a call from Race Control to allow the lights to function. When approach speeds are north of 200km/h, with almost no room to take evasive action, you tell me if this is good enough. It is also alleged that the lights are not very effective due to their design and postion, and are difficult to sight by the drivers.
How well do lights work with the sun, remembering that in the afternoon that area is pointing back roughly towards the sun depending on the time of year, and also there is a big crowd behind them where people may be wearing yellow and the colour would blend in?

Would make sense to have at least at some of the critical flag points over the top a second flaggie with their hand on the light switch in addition to the flaggie with the yellow furled in hand, to be used simultaneously with each other, and independently of race control. I guess that depends though also on number of flaggies putting their hand up to volunteer at the meeting. Could the comms person do the light switch?
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 00:58 (Ref:3799160)   #7
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Large high-output LED panels as used elsewhere in the world, could probably out-shine the sun if that were an issue.

The existing ones are basically the same as traffic lights.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 02:08 (Ref:3799171)   #8
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Regardless of what warning devices are installed, without changing the current culture of "push, push, push" under yellow these types of incidents will continue to occur.

It is clear a driver will only slow when he sees for himself that he has no option other than to slow.

Additional lights, flags and dancing girls will not make any difference.

Unfortunately the Confederation and Supercars have allowed an entire generation of drivers to ignore yellow flags.

Drivers will complain about circuit safety but we all know come the first yellow flag thrown at Adelaide in a few weeks time, the teams will tell the drivers to push and the driver will barely lift at all.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 02:19 (Ref:3799174)   #9
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The second crash was a signalling (or lack thereof) problem.

The time it will take before CAMS decides to make some improvements, will give you an idea on how long it'll take before they eventually implement something like a Code 60. Probably never.

In general terms, Supercars have been the main catalyst for changes in track safety, and the procedures around it, for the last little while. CAMS will continue to sit on their hands until they're forced to make a change. The only time they even look like they're being proactive, is when there's money to be made.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 04:42 (Ref:3799188)   #10
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In general terms, Supercars have been the main catalyst for changes in track safety, and the procedures around it, for the last little while. CAMS will continue to sit on their hands until they're forced to make a change. The only time they even look like they're being proactive, is when there's money to be made.
I think you need to get out more Umai...several other events/circuits do things in the name of safety which is not necessarily approved by CAMS but works...

Just being the Devils Advocate...what happens next year when there is a major kerfuffle at say the Cutting or the Elbow...what do we do? Tear up the whole track??
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 04:58 (Ref:3799193)   #11
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That's my whole point.

CAMS sets the bar too low at times.
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 05:11 (Ref:3799200)   #12
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What of all the drivers who managed to fight their way safely through that section of the track for the majority of the allocated race time and nearly to the scheduled finish time...then (it can be argued) two drivers made errors that meant the race was red flagged...what part of the equation could anything CAMS say or do to have changed this incident?

All this chat about lights etc...that's fine, I have used them both on a Flag Point and from Race Control...guess what? Absolutely NO guaranty of avoiding a racing incident!

Same can be said about clearly waved Flags where you get the impression that you obviously must be invisible because (some) drivers either chose to ignore them, take a punt to gain an advantage or are just incapable of doing two things at once (watch for the correct line and take notice of waved flags)
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 06:22 (Ref:3799206)   #13
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As far as that part of track goes, why not put the concrete wall back where the tyre wall used to be (is the tyre wall still there behind the concrete even?) When they put the concrete wall up there (and other places) in the 1999 track upgrade it moved the wall closer to the track in that point, affecting the sight line around the corner.

Another option, why not just slow down the cars??

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The second crash was a signalling (or lack thereof) problem.
Has this been confirmed?
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 06:24 (Ref:3799208)   #14
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As far as that part of track goes, why not put the concrete wall back where the tyre wall used to be (is the tyre wall still there behind the concrete even?) When they put the concrete wall up there (and other places) in the 1999 track upgrade it moved the wall closer to the track in that point, affecting the sight line around the corner.

Another option, why not just slow down the cars??


how are you thinking we should slow them down?

why not make the cars safer?
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Old 7 Feb 2018, 06:32 (Ref:3799209)   #15
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how are you thinking we should slow them down?
Less horsepower, less downforce, aim for laptimes of maybe around 2m 10 seconds.

No different to what they do at Le Mans or in NASCAR, they frame the rules for laptimes to be in the 3m 15-20sec range at Le Mans, and NASCAR has been manipulating their rules to keep the cars below 200mph on Super Speedways ever since 1988
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