Pit rule to anger Ford and Holden

Newcomers Nissan and Mercedes-Benz have scored a pyrrhic victory in their contentious campaign for a change of the rules to make them more competitive with Holden and Ford in the endurance races.

While V8 authorities have agreed to impose a minimum number of compulsory pit stops for the field to reduce the fuel consumption handicap of the Nissans and Mercedes-Benzes, the concession is only likely to inflame the controversy over giving them any assistance.

The original plan to allow the four factory-backed Nissan Altimas and trio of privately funded Mercedes AMG E63s to use a different blend of ethanol and petrol to improve their fuel economy in Sunday’s Sandown 500 and next month’s Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 was strongly opposed by Holden and Ford teams.

The reblended fuel – an E70 mix of ethanol and super unleaded, as opposed to the standard E85 brew – was trialled in two Nissans and a Mercedes in the first of three races at Winton, near Benalla, last month.

The Nissans of James Moffat and Michael Caruso scored a runaway 1-2 finish and when they failed to figure in the other two races, there was an outcry from Holden and Ford, which claimed the different fuel boosted their performance.

Despite test data that V8 Supercars technical staff maintained proved the E70 blend only reduced fuel consumption, after a fortnight of protests led by Holden and its main teams, the sport’s rule-making commission last Friday decided to recommend an across-the-board minimum number of fuel stops instead.

In the Sandown 500, all 28 cars will use the standard E85 blend and have to make at least four pit stops to refuel. The minimum number of stops in the Bathurst 1000 and twin-race Gold Coast 600 will be set after the Sandown event, which kicks off the new Endurance Cup.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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