James Courtney has called for an end to the “engineering arms race” in Supercars.
The veteran racer, who has just renewed his Boost Mobile deal with Tickford Racing to the end of 2021, is hopeful that Supercars will be simpler under the upcoming Gen3 regulations.
His suggestion for the 2022 season and beyond is to ban all the driver aids in the cockpit.
“It would make the racing better. Drivers would have to adapt as the car changed through a race,” Courtney told Race News.
“These days the engineer gets on the radio and tells the driver what changes to make. Adjust this bias, tweak that roll-bar.
“It doesn’t add anything to the racing.”
Apart from the front and rear roll-bars, which are adjusted with levers alongside the gearshift, he said the brake bias is complicated with “macro and micro” adjustments of the bias between the pressure to the front and rear wheels.
Courtney also revealed that the complication in the current cars included a high-tech system for adjusting the rear roll-bar at his previous team.
“When I was at WAU we had a fourth pedal that was for a hydraulic bar that adjusted the rear of the car. You could use it through a corner,” he said, although Race News is currently unable to verify the system.
But Courtney is clear on what needs to change on the Gen3 cars for the next generation of Australian touring cars.
“They need to get rid of the roll-bar adjusters, the brake bias, all that stuff,” he said.
“It’s not necessary. It just adds cost and complication.
“The better teams have a better system, they just work better, and that causes a difference between the teams. And more cost.
“Its cool and, from a driving point of view, it’s fun to be tweaking things between corners on a quali lap or during a race. But …”
Courtney’s call comes despite his praise for his engineer at Tickford, Brendan Hogan, and his part in revitalising his career as a racer.
“He is great. We’ve got a really tight little team going,” he said.
“We’re working really well together and it’s driving the car forward.”
If he was making the rules, Courtney said he would crack down on other areas of complication.
“Supercars should just had three roll-bar selections. And take out all the adjustment.”
But he stops short of banning radio communications to and from the cars.
“That’s safety. They need to leave that bit alone,” he said.