IMSA has issued a letter to stakeholders Wednesday that upholds and maintains the current pit stop procedure, despite a petition gathered that asked if changes could be made.
In the letter, IMSA confirmed and clarified the rules for pit stops. Drivers and teams had called for change to the regulations following at least two pit safety issues the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The letter released begins as follows:
“IMSA always is open to input and constructive feedback from our industry. Recently we were made aware of a discussion regarding pit stop procedures and regulations. As a result, the matter was placed under review by IMSA’s Competition Department.”
IMSA’s position within the letter then goes to the driver changes and spinning wheels during tire changes segments. IMSA reiterated a driver assistant can still be used to tighten and fasten on the driver safety harness for driver changes.
Meanwhile the greater issue that occurred at least twice at the Rolex 24 at Daytona was where wheels spun during tire changes. This affected the No. 1 Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b and one of the BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTEs in those two instances.
The letter states that IMSA has left it up to the teams to create their own procedures to guide drivers and crewmembers throughout the tire change process.
IMSA’s letter ends by placing responsibility for safe pit stops primarily in the hands of the competitors:
“In conclusion – The current pit stop regulations, when managed appropriately, enable the pit stop procedure to be a safe and important part in the competition result.
“Teams always must be responsible for the safe operation of their race car, which includes being certain that the driver is correctly fitted in the car with the driver safety harness fastened and tightened, before releasing that car from the pit box.”
A petition created by David Heinemeier Hansson, co-driver of the No. 1 HPD, gathered more than 700 signatures to change the regulations.
In it, the Dane suggested to turn the engine off and refuel first before changing tires to improve safety, a procedure that’s currently enforced in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European and Asian Le Mans Series.
Heinemeier Hansson responded to IMSA’s letter with this statement, via Change.org:
“IMSA has responded to your overwhelming outpour of concern for safe pitstops by essentially claiming that everything is great the way it is, thus no need for change.”