The EJ12 should not usually be stationary for longer than ten seconds in a race pit stop, vital seconds during which 24 people converge around the car to change all four tyres and refuel. This is the definitive test of how efficiently a team works...
The EJ12 should not usually be stationary for longer than ten seconds in a race pit stop, vital seconds during which 24 people converge around the car to change all four tyres and refuel. This is the definitive test of how efficiently a team works together, yet each season brings new faces to the 24- man crew who must learn how to play their part and work with their team mates. Tim Edwards, Jordan's Team Manager, describes how the pit crew trains and practices, and explains the never- ending drive to shave off fractions of a second.
"We practise pit stops regularly, at test sessions and in the factory as well as every race weekend. We've made some changes to who does what, and these latest positions were practised in the factory, in Imola, and then rehearsed 'as live' for an hour at the Silverstone test last week."
"Rehearsing 'as live' is vital and totally different to the usual form of practice when we have a couple of guys pushing the car into position before the team carries out a practice pit stop. 'As live', means the mechanics sit in the garage, as if they were watching the race, and then they are called out with 20 seconds to go as the driver drives into the pits. We did that 12 or 15 times at the Silverstone circuit."
"We're always trying different combinations and ways of working. For example, we have two people operating the fuel hose, with the team member furthest behind having a lot of influence on moving and locking the hose into place. For the flyaways this year a tall person had been standing in front of a shorter team member, which limited how much the guy behind could help his team mate. When we got back to Europe, we tried reversing that and used different team members, and we found it made refuelling work much better."
"Now Stuart Cox, the tallest member of the team, is the second person on the fuel hose and he looks over Ged Robb's shoulder to help steer the hose on. The big guy who used to be on the front of the hose was moved to the rear jack because the team member who used to have the position was too light and subsequently was thrown off a few times. Re-thinking the team positions like this has made our pit stops smoother and quicker, but it's only once you've gone through a few races that you can have a better feel for how the team should be arranged."
"We've got a few people on the crew who hadn't done pit stops before this season and it doesn't matter how many times you practice it, when you actually do it for real for the first time in a race, when it matters, the adrenaline's going! We see a difference as the season goes on and by the end of the season the crew has really gelled together and the pit stop just gets slicker and quicker each time."
PIT STOP POSITION NAME
Lollipop & nose lift Andy: Stevenson
Front jack, lift & nose off: Gerrard O'Reilly
Left front wheel off, wing adj, nose on: Martin McCracken
Left front wheel gun: Jamie Chapple
Left front wheel on, nose ratchet: Dave Adcock
Right front wheel off, wing adj, nose lift: Dave Gambling
Right front wheel gun: Phil Howell
Right front wheel on, nose ratchet: Andy Saunders
Stand, extinguisher: Stuart McNally
Fuel: Ged Robb, Stuart Cox, Mick Gomme
Fuel shut-off: Paul Pinney
Fuel desk controller: Tim Edwards
Right rear stand, wheel off: Simon Yates
Right rear wheel gun: Matt Deane
Pusher, right rear wheel on: Andy Deeming
Rear jack: Iain Marchant
Main extinguisher: Ian Gleadell
Fire guard: Andy Barber
Left rear wheel on: James Laurence
Left rear wheel gun: Nick Burrows
Left rear wheel off, starter: Gary Taylor
Steady, nose lift, wheel off, clutch dump: Nathan Hall