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Formula E driver calls for ‘radio silence’ between drivers, pit road

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Radio communication between race car drivers and pit road has been a staple in motorsports for several decades.

But now there’s a call by one driver to have “radio silence” during races.

According to e-racing365.com, 2016-17 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi wants a ban on race communications between drivers and teams, except when there is a safety issue at hand.

Formula E and FIA are in the process of discussing the use of so-called “mission control” radio conversations that include racetrack and manufacturer input on teams’ radio channels.

Di Grassi says the less chatter the better, plus it would help enhance the challenge for drivers if they’re more on their own, rather than having to deal with radio talk that can at times break a driver’s concentration.

“Why not just cut the radio communication to the driver and then it doesn’t matter how many strategists you have or how big a mission control you have, as you cannot tell the driver what to do then,” Di Grassi told e-racing365.

“I think that’s the way forward, its more driver dependent, you have to decide your own strategy you need to know what is going on and you need to figure it out for yourself.

“There would also be no team orders, no (b.s.) like this, you will go racing and that’s it, it is your problem to solve and I am totally in favor of this.”

Di Grassi isn’t just sharing his thoughts with the media. He recently spoke with Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag about the subject, as well, according to e-racing365.

As far as Di Grassi is concerned, there is really only one reason to still maintain radio communications in a race car.

“We need to have a radio because it is important for safety reasons, of course,” he told e-racing365. “We need to know about full course yellows, accidents, etc. But I’d like to have only comms from the race director to us and us to the radio director so I can tell them if I had a crash or something has gone wrong on track.

“I am against team radio, I am against any type of driver aid. I see the continual dialogue in a race as a driver aid and Formula E should look at eradicating it.”

Click here for the full e-racing365.com story.

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IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

Live race coverage of IMSA’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports app with an encore presentation of the race airing later in the evening at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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