Surfers Paradise: New pit lane meets approval

The V8 Supercar Championship Series has settled in to new pit lane facilities for this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast with a global seal of approval from drivers and team members. The Queensland State Government...

The V8 Supercar Championship Series has settled in to new pit lane facilities for this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast with a global seal of approval from drivers and team members.

The Queensland State Government and the Gold Coast Motor Events Corporation (GCMEC) have been instrumental in providing a completely new pit lane specifically for V8 Supercar Championship teams.

The improvements include spacious garage and work areas for every team, eliminating the problem of being based off-track and having to transport cars and equipment to a makeshift pit lane.

It also ensures that Australia's premier Motorsport category is on an equal footing with the Champ Car Series that will also do battle on the Gold Coast streets in the Lexmark Indy 300 this weekend.

"It is a tremendous improvement in conditions for all of our teams," AVESCO Chief Executive Officer Wayne Cattach said of the new pit lane facilities.

"The Gold Coast Motor Events Corporation and the Queensland Government have done a magnificent job in making this happen given the sensitivities surrounding the development.

"We have now been given equal billing with the Champ Cars which is what we deserve. We have always been a major part of the show and our fans, who make up a significant slice of the audience, can clearly see that."

Five-time V8 Supercar Championship Series winner and Holden Racing Team team owner Mark Skaife was delighted with the new facilities when he saw them for the first time late yesterday.

"It has certainly come along way from us being shunted down a back street," Skaife said.

"From our perspective this is a massive step in the right direction of giving all the teams improved facilities and generally making it a lot safer than having to ship equipment around the track every time we race."

While teams settled in to their new surrounds it was decided that the format for the two races would be altered slightly to ensure the safety of team members during pit stops.

Each V8 Supercar race, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, will now be held without the original compulsory pit stop.

Team representatives agreed unanimously not to have pit stops during this event.

"There are some minor issues with the amount of room in pit lane that has meant it is difficult for multiple teams to pit at the same time, which they have a tendency to do under the current rules" Mr Cattach said.

"The new dimensions are approved by the FIA but the problem is the sheer size and nature of our cars. These issues can be addressed, we just didn't want to disrupt our teams so close to a race weekend.

"So it was decided that for this year we would eliminate the pit stops in both races while our teams become more familiar with the new pit lane facilities they have this year, knowing they will be better again next year.

"What we offer in turn is a longer race format -- 50 per cent more distance than we have ever raced here -- on a single set of tyres with the braking systems at the extremes of their durability. What this will mean is that we will be guaranteed a spectacular end to each race with drivers and cars literally on the edge."

-avesco-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Skaife
Teams Holden Racing Team