Dane: Drivers shouldn't make Supercars paddle shift call

Feedback from Supercars drivers shouldn't be the deciding factor in the paddles versus stick shift debate, according to outgoing Triple Eight boss Roland Dane.

Dane: Drivers shouldn't make Supercars paddle shift call
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The Aussie category is currently weighing up both paddle and stick shift for its Gen3 cars, the matter having morphed into a flashpoint of controversy over the past year.

It was originally confirmed that an electronic Auto Gear Shift system would be introduced regardless, and then operated by either paddles or a stick, however it appears retaining the current mechanical stick shift is back on the table.

The issue has polarised the paddock, with drivers by and large in favour of keeping the stick and team owners split on the matter, some in favour of paddles and some against.

However that opinion from the drivers shouldn't carry decisive weight in the argument, says Dane, who wants to see he call made based on factors such as cost and entertainment.

"Almost all the drivers are paid, they’re not paying. So to be honest they’re not the ones who should be making the call," he told media during the Gen3 launch.

"The people who should be making the call are the team owners and television of Supercars, in trying to decide what’s the right path for the future for the next five, 10 years.

"The drivers, at the end of the day, are paid to do a job. I have never seen a Supercars driver turn down driving a good GT3 car, they’ve all got paddle shift.

"I haven’t even seen them turning down driving TCR cars. It’s not something they fundamentally hate so much that they won’t drive a car.

"I think it’s more about the fans, they television and the team owners and the costs associated that [Supercars CEO] Sean [Seamer] and his team need to take into account before they make a call.

"The call should be finally made by them. They’ve got inputs from teams and from television, and they’ve got to make a call and then everyone should live with it.

"The drivers have got views, some of which they air publicly and some of which they air privately. But at the end of the day the drivers are paid to do a job and they will drive whatever they are given."

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Dane likened the debate to the category's move from a H-pattern gearbox to the stick-operated sequential system back in 2008, something he says the more experienced drivers in the field were opposed to.

"We had a debate about H-pattern versus sequential years ago," he said.

"The owners all wanted to have a sequential gearbox in the car because it was going to save money in terms of engines. The older drivers, they all wanted the H-pattern because they knew how to go from sixth to second and change hear coming down from Skyline and not lose the car... they had a vested interest.

"But we ended up with a sequential shift and the argument was forgotten six months later. We got on with life.

"This time a decision will be made, whichever way, and in a month or two everyone will just get on with it. Including drivers."

A decision is expected within the next fortnight before Gen3 prototype testing begins in earnest.

As it stands the Camaro prototype is fitted with AGS and paddles, while the Mustang is fitted with AGS, paddles and an electronic-controlled stick shift.

The Gen3 cars will continue to use the same Xrac transaxle that's fitted to the current-spec cars either way.

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