Ross Brawn’s future as Mercedes team principal is in doubt again following fresh stories claiming he will leave the team.
The BBC reported on Tuesday that Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe will take over the running of Mercedes’ F1 team at the end of the season and Brawn will step down.
According to the BBC: “Wolff, the executive director (business), will now run the political and financial sides of the team, while Lowe, the executive director (technical), will be in charge of the sporting and technical aspects. Wolff is also the director of Mercedes’ motorsport operation.”
Brawn’s relationship with Mercedes has been the subject of season-long speculation following the recruitment of Lowe from McLaren earlier this year.
However Mercedes refused to comment on the report when approached by others for comment.
Brawn joined the Brackley-based team in late 2007 when it was owned by Honda. The team endured a troubled 2008 while Brawn focused their energies on preparing a car for the 2009 rules change.
When Honda pulled out of the sport Brawn and Nick Fry spearheaded a management buyout, secured a supply of Mercedes engines and, having renamed the team Brawn GP, won the constructors’ championship with Jenson Button claiming the drivers’ title.
Mercedes then took over the team but took until last year to win another race. They are currently second in the constructors’ championship after three wins and eight pole positions this season.
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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