V8 Supercars’ controversial new restart rules have been scrapped in favour of a return to last year’s format.
The post-safety car rolling restart was heavily criticised after its first run of the season at Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 resulted in a spectacular crash involving Holden veteran Jason Bright.
The rules forced cars to run in single file and stay under 60km/h until the race leader chose to hit top speed within an allocated acceleration zone (AZ).
Organisers later amended the rules to increase the speed limit to 80km/h and lengthen the AZ.
But the format has now been ditched altogether, with drivers to revert to the 2013 procedure from next weekend’s Auckland 500.
While cars will still need to form a single line behind the race leader, they will be free to accelerate whenever they like once the safety car returns to pit lane.
Bright welcomed the decision.
“The intent was right in terms of adding to the entertainment but in practice it gave guys an advantage they may not have normally had and caused unnecessary problems,” he said.
“V8 Supercars did a good job in consulting the drivers to try to make it work for the right reasons but unfortunately this time it didn’t turn out.
“It’s the right call to go back to what we had before. That system is the fairest for the guys who have fought to build an advantage and gives them the best opportunity to maintain that advantage.”
Fellow driver and V8 Supercars Commission member Todd Kelly said the AZ restart area was difficult to manage from behind the wheel.
“It is a shame though, when it did work it looked great with the cars spreading either side of the queue on the jump,” Kelly said.
“The problem was whether its an overlap or passing rule prior to the control line, more often than not there will be someone that doesn’t get the jump causing the car behind to brake and, in turn, cause issues.”