Eric Boullier is pleased by the gains that McLaren has made across the course of the 2016 Formula 1 season on the sport’s top teams, saying it proves that its recovery plan is working.
McLaren entered the 2016 season coming off the back of one of its worst racing campaigns, finishing ninth in the constructors’ championship thanks to continued difficulties with the new Honda power unit.
McLaren has already beaten its total from 2015 after just 12 races this season, sitting seventh in the constructors’ championship with Toro Rosso just three points ahead.
In a video on McLaren’s website, racing director Boullier spoke about the challenges that the team has faced so far in 2016, with particular emphasis on the correlation between its off-track simulations and teh results on-track.
“A great performance from the team is obviously having now [is] nearly 95% correlation level between what we can simulate, produce, manufacture, deliver at the track and race which is amazing,” Boullier said.
“We are pleased if I may say this to obviously catch up on the big teams, out develop the big teams. That means the momentum behind is working, that means what we are doing is working, is delivering.
“We just want to do the best job we can until the end of the season while we are preparing for 2017 as well.”
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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