Show me that in lighting
Aussie-made lights could shine on Albert Park, writes PAULGOVER
THE Australian-made lighting system that could eventually illuminate Formula One at Albert Park has just been given a global thumbs up. Hella Australia now intends to mount a worldwide promotional push for its system, starting in grand prix racing but spreading to a range of other sports and even to potential use by emergency services.
The Hella system — giant reflectors that employ the technology used in the headlamps of Australian-made cars — was demonstrated at the company’s base in Mentone during Grand Prix week.
Hella executives also met the head of Formula One safety, Charlie Whiting of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, at Albert Park to present their package.
‘‘The system will be endorsed by the FIA, subject to a final presentation to the FIA safety board,’’ Hella Australia spokesman Thomas Plessinger says. ‘‘We will be going to either London or Monaco to give that presentation. We are hoping it will be in May, about the time of the Monaco Grand Prix.’’
Hella is already moving ahead as it eyes night-racing opportunities on the F1 calendar.
‘‘The possible circuits are in Japan, Malaysia and Australia — with a big question mark — then other circuits such as India, Korea and perhaps Russia, which are coming into the championship.’’
Hella says it can build a system suitable for an F1 track for about $15 million and rent it, as it has proposed for Albert Park, for about $5 million a year.
Plessinger says Hella is yet to talk to the AGP organisers in any detail but is not worried because of the overseas opportunities.
A MotoGP night race has already been held in Qatar, using a Musco lighting system from the US similar to the one at Calder Park Thunderdome, and the Malaysian GP organisers ran a Musco test this week at Sepang.
‘‘If we wait we will miss the window of opportunity,’’ Plessinger says.
Shining example: Hella Australia has developed a revolutionary lighting system for racing circuits that could be used at the Grand Prix.