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Supercars could tweak tracks to improve racing

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Supercars could tweak tracks to improve racing
By:
Feb 5, 2020, 2:00 AM

A data analysis system borrowed from NASCAR could ultimately lead to Supercars tweaking circuits to improve racing in the future.

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says the category has been given insight into how NASCAR processes its data regarding lead and position changes, and quantifies it as feedback on the on-track product.

A similar system is now set to be employed down under, with hopes from Supercars officials that it can offer some insight into how circuit designs could potentially be tweaked to improve overtaking.

"NASCAR provided us an overview of how they look at the quality of the on-track product, in terms of number of lead changes, number of passes, number of top three changes, number of Top 10 changes, that they pull out of their timing system," Seamer told media at the Bathurst 12 Hour.

"We'll look at something similar, because it will help us identify not only the quality of the racing, but also the quality of the race tracks.

"There are some tracks that we have where there's limited passing opportunities, we're cognisant of that.

"The core racing product has to be good, it has to be entertaining, and it has to be dynamic and close and everyone has to have a chance of winning on any given Sunday. We're aware of that, and we're looking at different ways that we can monitor that and improve on it."

Street circuits are likely to be the key targets for changes, firstly because they are physically easier to alter, and secondly because Supercars is the promoter of three of the five events run on closed public roads.

According to Seamer, new Commission member Jamie Whincup will play a key role in advising on circuit design.

He also says the Newcastle street circuit will be first to come under scrutiny, with a profile change to Turn 11 for 2019 not yielding the upswing in overtaking that the category was hoping it would.

"The team are looking at Newcastle at the moment," he said. "We made some changes leading into last year, [but] we feel like there still wasn't enough genuine passing.

"So we'll take another look at that and see what can be done for this year.

"Street circuits are a little bit easier. It's never easy. If I say that, both my motorsport and my events team are going to want to shoot me.

"But yes, it's easier within the confines of a street circuit because sometimes it's just about Turn 1 at Newcastle, perhaps, and straightening up the entry.

"The good thing about having Jamie on the Commission is that he's going to help with that."

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen