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Supercars Hidden Valley

Driver cooling changes for Darwin Supercars

A number of Supercars teams will introduce revised driver cooling systems for this weekend's Darwin Triple Crown.

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The trek to the Top End will bring driver cooling back into focus for the second time this season, and first since the Newcastle 500 back in March.

While its only a sprint format in Darwin, dry season weather it set to see ambients hanging in the low-30 degree bracket across the weekend.

That's significantly higher than what was seen in Melbourne, Perth and Tasmania.

Driver cooling with the new Gen3 cars was a controversial topic in Newcastle, with Shane van Gisbergen among those to voice concerns over cabin temperatures in the new car.

That was after Triple Eight was ordered to remove, and then allowed to re-fit, additional heat shielding around the exhaust system.

Van Gisbergen was then stripped of a race win when Triple Eight illegally fitted a dry ice radiator to the driver's side of the car to service a helmet fan.

The radiator itself was legal, however its placement triggered a technical infringement punishable by disqualification.

Triple Eight is one of a handful of teams to have done away with the traditional dry ice driver cooling system, which services both the cool suit and provides chilled air to a helmet fan.

T8, Grove Racing and Erebus Motorsport all use the electronic ChillOut system instead, which doesn't provide chilled air to the helmet.

While T8 had the helmet air covered, albeit temporarily illegally, in Newcastle, Groves and Erebus went without, with David Reynolds and Will Brown both struggling in the extreme heat.

In response both teams have implemented their own versions of an additional dry ice system for this weekend, which will operate alongside the ChillOut system.

Reynolds is hoping that the new system, and a new personal training regime using a home sauna, will help him battle the heat better this weekend.

"It's always 30-odd degrees every day [in Darwin], and it's a big contrast because the last couple of rounds have been pretty cold," Reynolds told Motorsport.com.

"And living in Melbourne it's extra cold. But I've been doing all the work in the sauna to try and get me used to it, and we've got the new dry ice helmet fan cooling system, which I haven't had before, so hopefully that brings my temperature down a little bit and makes the cool suit work more effectively."

When asked if he's confident the sauna training will help, Reynolds said: "Even if it brings me up to everyone else I'll be happy, because I suck in the heat.

"I've been tormented by the heat my entire life in racing cars. That's why I didn't mind racing formula cars, because they don't get hot. Formula Ford was nice!

"Hopefully [the sauna] will make a difference."

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