Safety car pit stops to be banned in trial at Phillip Island

The Supercars Championship organisation has confirmed that it will trial closing the pit lane during safety car sessions in the fourth round of the year at Phillip Island following the controversial clash between Chaz Mostert and Rick Kelly in the season opener.

“It’ll change the strategy, it’ll make people think differently, and obviously we need to make sure it’s a safe working place as well,” said Tickford Racing team manager Tim Edwards.

Tickford Racing driver Mostert was released into the path of Kelly, half-spinning the Mustang of Mostert and blocking the pit lane.

“You’ve got crews out there in the pit lane, and cars turning sideways is clearly not a safe thing to be doing in the pit lane,” said Edwards.

“Fortunately it’s very rare an incident like that happens, but even just a normal pitlane, when you’re trying to squeeze 24 cars into it, it’s a challenging environment. We’ve got to do the right thing and explore what options there are for making it safer.”

Triple Eight Race Engineering driver Shane van Gisbergen is convinced the ban will have a big impact on the racing.

“You could close it like NASCAR but then it changes the dynamic of the racing. Every pit stop will be as early as possible so you don’t get caught with the pit lane being closed. It will just change the dynamic of the racing,” said van Gisbergen.

“There’s probably things we can do to make it safer, wider pit lanes and stuff like that but then you’ve got Phillip Island which is the opposite.

“There’s probably some things you could do to make it safer for everybody working in pit lane, but I think the racing we’ve got with pit lane being open is good. There’s things we can do to make it safer for sure.”