Teams, safety and spectators the biggest winners: Lowndes Three-time V8 Supercar Championship Series winner Craig Lowndes has voiced his complete support of the elimination of warm-up sessions prior to sprint rounds in this year's...
Teams, safety and spectators the biggest winners: Lowndes
Three-time V8 Supercar Championship Series winner Craig Lowndes has voiced his complete support of the elimination of warm-up sessions prior to sprint rounds in this year's series.
The Team Betta Electrical star has endorsed the decision to abandon morning warm-ups in favour of offering spectators the ultimate experience of being able to freely access all drivers, teams and cars in pit lane instead.
There will still be warm-up laps at the longer re-fuelling races at the Queensland 300, Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown and the Supercheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst.
"It's a very sensible decision that has my total support," said Lowndes.
"By not having to turn out for an early warm-up session on a race day means that the intense pressure all teams are under on a race weekend can be relieved a little and they can concentrate on racing.
"It also makes teams more organised, diligent and efficient. For instance in Adelaide, we did the majority of our work around the practice session on Friday so we were ready to race there and then.
"From a safety point of view it allows teams more time to prepare their cars and pay more attention to detail. Just as importantly, it can allow team members more rest and more sleep.
"From a drivers' point of view the last thing you want is a wheel nut coming loose because a team member is tired from having to prepare for an early morning warm-up session."
Current champion Marcos Ambrose voiced his disapproval at not having a morning warm-up session at the recent Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, citing a loss of action for spectators and other safety issues.
But Lowndes rebutted Ambrose' comments saying that Adelaide was an exception given that at all other sprint rounds the cars will be on track in the mornings. Lowndes is currently second to Ambrose in the Championship.
"Marcos perhaps had a point in that respect because Adelaide was an exception in that we weren't out early on Sunday. Everywhere else we are generally out in the morning anyway," said Lowndes.
"From a spectator point of view losing the warm-up lap means they have even more time to come and see us, go to the merchandising areas and take part in the pit walks that will replace warm-up.
"As a sport we are people friendly and we want the people to come and interact with us."
This weekend's race at the Placemakers V8 International at Pukekohe will host the first of the public entertainment sessions where all drivers, cars and team garages will be on public display for 45 minutes on the main race day of Sunday.
In other news the random draw for the Top 10 shootout as occurred in Adelaide has also been returned to a slowest to fastest format, as was the case in 2004.