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Ratel Considering Minimum Pit Stop Times for Sprint Cup

Ratel to speak with teams about introducing timed pit stops for Sprint Cup in 2019…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Stephane Ratel will consult with the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup paddock this weekend about the possible introduction of minimum pit stop times next year.

The mandatory pit stop is currently untimed in the Sprint Cup while a minimum time from pit entry to exit is imposed in Blancpain GT Endurance Cup races.

Timed pit stops would bring the Sprint Cup in line with most other SRO-run championships and serve as a cost-cutting measure.

“This format has existed since 2010 and it is war during the stops,” SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Ratel told Endurance-Info. 

“The competition is present. However, we suffer a little because teams believe that it requires too much money. You need the equipment, the training, the staff.

“This reflection is part of my agenda at the Nürburgring. I will consult teams and drivers this weekend.

“We listen to our customers. This is our business. Without listening to our customers, the system cannot work.”

The introduction of untimed ‘joker’ stops in the Total 24 Hours of Spa and six-hour race at Circuit Paul Ricard has added an extra level of strategy in the championship’s longest endurance races this year.

It was met by a mixed reaction from the paddock ahead of Spa, where each car was allowed one untimed stop in each six-hour period of the race.

Ratel has attributed the additional cost involved with untimed stops as one of the reasons for Sprint Cup’s smaller grid this season.

“The pit stop competition in Blancpain Sprint is very, very demanding for the team and very expensive in personnel, in equipment and in training,” he told Sportscar365 in May.

“That now plays a bit against the series. We have to look at an evolution for next year and we’re thinking about it.”

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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