Major Change On The Way For Le Mans Safety Management
Much more in the next 24 Hours following a catch-up session with Gerard Neveu and Pierre Fillon on the progress with the FIA WEC into 2014.
The picture is overwhelmingly positive with stable grids, increasing crowd numbers and media reach. There are though including some currently unresolved issues around Interlagos (assurances required on safety management) and Austin (where the discussions with the circuit and TUSC over the weekend’s timetable are clearly proving difficult)
Before then though there was a moment after the briefing to catch up with Pierre Fillon on the ACO’s review of safety after this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours which saw, of course, the fatal accident that befell Allan Simonsen but also saw an extraordinary number of lengthy safety car periods.
“We will announce very soon that there will be changes at Tertre Rouge and Corvette Corner but it should be remembered that we (the ACO) do not own the circuit, it is still, mainly, public road so those discussion have to be had with the local authority.
“They are very clear though that these changes need to be made to ensure that the Le Mans 24 Hours can continue as before.”
Perhaps even more significant though was Mr Fillon’s answer to the question about the number and length of Safety Car periods.
“Here we will have a surprise for you I think. I share the concerns about this and we have been working hard to find a better safety management solution.
“To make the change we want to move towards would require an in-car marshaling system, to neutralise not the whole circuit but simply a section of the circuit directly affected by an incident. That kind of system requires a high level of accuracy from a GPS based system and I hope and believe that this will be in place for 2014.”
That looks and feels like a higher tech version of the system that works well at the Nurburgring 24 Hours and come rather closer to the ‘Code 60’ system that Creventic operate with their range of endurance events.