Australia’s Supercars series has revealed further details about the chassis that its new Gen 3 cars will be built on, stating that safety has been the main driver behind the design. Notably, the driver will be seated even further away from the door, and there will be a small hatch for medical and extraction crew access.
“It goes without saying that you always employ best principles,” said category head of motorsport, Adrian Burgess. “Thankfully, safety is something that is always being improved. We’re always looking at what’s new on the market, and how we can build a safer chassis for the drivers. That’s something that was always looked at with the Gen3 car. We’ve taken that into consideration; the position the driver will be in the car, they’ll be further away from any side intrusion. We were a little bit restricted in how far we could go left due to the tail shaft, but the outer skin of the car will be further away from the driver than it is in the current car.”
Burgess clarified that the roof hatch is not an escape route; rather, it will aid medical and extraction response efforts in the wake of a major accident. “You won’t be able to physically pull a driver through the hatch. It will help responders put neck and back restraints on the driver or remove their helmet so they can be stabilized before they are extracted from the car through the door.”
Burgess also noted that the new chassis will see incremental improvements to existing safety systems – such as leg protection – first made compulsory in late 2017. “There’ll be greater protection across the top [of the driver’s legs] and from the steering column. When you’re building a new car, everything is always up for review. Have we got the latest and best seats? Have we got the latest and best seatbelts? Have we got the best fire-suppressant systems? We’re always looking at it and we have come to a point where the cars are very safe, but you can never become complacent.”