British GT reverts to using safety car rules
British GT organisers have postponed the use of the controversial Full Course Yellow Code 80 rule until further notice after a troubled debut at Brands Hatch last weekend.
British GT had adopted the system, which is used in European GT racing, for last weekend’s opener, but it will be shelved following criticism from teams.
The rule replaces the use of a safety car period by restricting all cars on the track to 80km/h (around 50mph) when an accident has occurred. Cars are tracked by a delta lap time to ensure they stick to the speed limit, but there were multiple instances of drivers and teams misinterpreting the rule last weekend.
Rick Parfitt Jr was leading the race in his Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3, but lost a lot of time during the caution period. He said: “The rule needs to be looked at because some drivers weren’t sticking to 80km/h. I had a 14-second lead when the full course yellow started, and a one-second lead a few laps later. How does that happen?”
Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driver Nathan Freke added: “Some cars weren’t going fast enough and there were some big differences in lap times. These cars only have one speed limiter, which is for the pits, so to stick to 80km/h you’re relying on each driver’s right foot. Also some cars slowed as soon as they got the radio message for FCY, and others kept going until the first yellow flag.”
British GT manager Benjamin Franassovici held a meeting with officials, teams and timekeepers following the race and has decided to revert to using a safety car until further notice.
He said: “We knew there would be gremlins with FCY Code 80, but there were too many aspects outside of our control last weekend so we will not use it again until we can fully control it. FCY is the way forward, and everybody was happy we introduced it, but we have to refine it.”