Pirelli has announced plans for a new Formula 1 tire compound for the 2018 season that will become the softest in its range, as well as using the pink design seen over the United States Grand Prix weekend.
Pirelli currently offers teams five tire compounds – hard, medium, soft, super-soft and ultra-soft – to use throughout the season, with any three being made available for each race weekend.
Following calls for tires to be less conservative in the future after a number of one-stop races this year, Pirelli confirmed on Sunday following the Brazilian Grand Prix it would be introducing a new compound for 2018 that is softer than the existing ultra-soft.
Fans will choose from three possible names for the tire – mega-soft, hyper-soft and extreme-soft – via Twitter, with the compound set to be colored pink for 2018.
The ultra-softs’ usual purple walling was replaced by pink for the USGP in Austin, Texas as part of F1’s efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, with the design proving popular among fans and teams. Pirelli’s full breakdown is linked here and summarized below.
2018 Formula 1 Tire Compounds and Colors
Hard – orange
Medium – white
Soft – yellow
Super-soft – red
Ultra-soft – purple
Mega-soft/hyper-soft/extreme-soft – pink
Intermediate – green
Wet – blue
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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