Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde believes that he has done enough to secure a second season in Formula One after a string of impressive displays across the last few months.
van der Garde made his debut in Formula One at the beginning of the year, and after a difficult first half of the season, he soon found his feet and became the leading driver from the backmarker teams. However, Caterham is yet to confirm who will be at the team next season as Heikki Kovalainen and Marcus Ericsson look to replace van der Garde and teammate Charles Pic for 2014. Nevertheless, the Dutchman is confident that he has done enough to secure his future though.
“I think I’ve shown that I’m a team leader, especially in the second half of the year,” he explained to GP Update. “The team is very satisfied with me and the progress that I’ve made.
“We shall see. We are talking with them as well. My management is quite busy now and hopefully we can have some good news soon.”
Given the fashion in which he outclassed his more experienced teammate during the second half of the season, van der Garde has every right to feel confident about staying in Formula One. His season highlight came during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix when he finished third in Q1 and qualified a season-best fourteenth for Caterham.
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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