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Home / How a pitstop works?

How a pitstop works?

ELMS - 06/07/2017 - Sophie LIGER

Picture © Jakob Ebrey Photography

During an Endurance race pitstops are one of the key elements where a race can be won or lost. The quicker the pitstop, the quicker you get back on track. It’s also a matter of strategy, every team knows when they will do their pitstop and when they will change drivers. To pit or not at a certain point of race can be decisive.

In an ELMS race that lasts 4 Hours the first pitstop comes usually after 45 minutes of racing in order to refuel, change the drivers…

According to the regulations, not all of the mechanics can work at the same time on the car during a pitstop. For example, you cannot refuel and change the four tyres at the same time. One mechanic is responsible for refuelling the car. Once this is complete three mechanics are allowed to change the tyres.

During the refuelling, the mechanics are allowed to clean the windscreen, mirrors, lights and conduct operations inside the cockpit, such as helping the driver. All the mechanics that can work on the car during a pitstop must have a green armband.

Only when the car is stopped in front of its pit the driver can remove his safety harness, switch off the lights, turn off his engine and open his door. Before leaving his pit, the new driver must fasten his safety harness and switch on his lights.

Every pitstop is monitored by a pit marshal to ensure that no infringement of the regulations is committed. If there is an infraction it is reported to the race stewards, who can impose various penalties, such as a stop & go on the team.

When the car is inside its garage for any reason, there are no restrictions on the number of people that can work on the car.

The speed limit in the pitlane is 60kph and penalties apply for exceeding the maximum speed.

You now know everything about the “dance” of the mechanics around the car during their pitstop!

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