POSITIVE DRIVING STANDARDS IMPACT
ELF Renault Clio Cup organisers have hailed the introduction of judicial cameras into every competitor’s car after seeing a significant reduction in the number of driving standards penalties imposed in 2008. The cameras purchased by Renault Sport UK have been used since the start of the season leading to a drop in both the number of drivers penalised and the total number of penalties issued.
Comparing the first 12 races of 2008 with the 12 championship rounds held in 2007, the number of individual drivers penalised has fallen from 20 to 14. The total number of penalties issued that carry a licence endorsement, and are therefore deducted from a driver’s championship score, has fallen from 24 to 18.
The reductions indicate that driving standards have improved in the one-make saloon-car series as drivers are aware that all on-track action can be viewed immediately after the race by the Clerk of the Course, in support of observers’ reports.
Commenting on the introduction of on-board cameras in every car, ELF Renault Clio Cup Clerk of the Course Ian Watson said: “In terms of the judicial process, what the cameras enable us to do is view incidents from a driver’s point of view using high quality images. It ensures we have strong evidence immediately available to support observers’ reports and drivers’ comments, which may not contain full details given the speed with which incidents happen.”
Coastal Racing driver and Team Manager Carl Bradley, who joined Clio Cup in 2007, said: “Last year if someone rubbed you, you felt like you wanted to get them back but this year you know you can’t do that because of the cameras. It’s definitely helped and is a deterrent to the smaller rubs and nudges, I think big lunges on the last lap are a part of racing. It’s also good to see the action after the race and the Clerk may see that a move is a simple error instead of being malicious and give you two points, rather than the possibility of losing places or even being excluded. The Mini Challenge, in which we also run a team, has introduced a similar scheme after its success in Clio Cup.”
Austrian driver Niki Lanik, double Clio Winter Cup champion, said: “The two main incidents I’ve been involved in this year have seen the person responsible penalised, which is a good thing and that’s down to every car having a camera. People will think about their overtaking because they don’t want to look stupid on camera. In my opinion the cameras have calmed everyone down.”
Lee Brookes, Team Manager at long-time Clio Cup team Total Control Racing, said: “It’s not a straightforward question but it seems to me that the racing is cleaner at the front although inexperienced drivers can cause problems in the midfield by trying moves they shouldn’t. The amount of damage we’ve seen as a team has stayed roughly the same, perhaps slightly less. Overall the Clerks are doing a good job and having video evidence in judicial hearings makes it a lot more clear cut.”
For all the latest ELF Renault Clio Cup Championship news visit the official Renault Sport UK website www.renaultsport.co.uk
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