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Mark Dutton: I’m a massive fan of the tyre pressure sensors

It’s been a no-go for years in V8 Supercars, but from Perth onwards, the field will carry tyre pressure sensors, which will deliver live data back to the garage and the driver’s cockpit.

Having previously been disallowed to keep costs down, every team is now being issued a Beru f1 Systems kit as a safety precaution in an attempt to avoid accidents such as Jamie’s close shave with the turn eight wall in Adelaide earlier this year when he thought his delaminating tyre had simply picked up some debris from an earlier incident, an introduction that RBRA Race Team Manager Dutto is only too ready to welcome.

“The most difficult thing is that a delaminating tyre can feel the same as a tyre going down, can feel the same as if you have got pick-up, can feel the same as if you have got a slow leak,” he told v8supercars.com.au. “So we are relying on the driver’s feel and a leaking tyre can feel nothing as well.”

While predominantly a safety measure to go hand-in-hand with the 17psi minimum pressure introduced after Sandown last year, the sensors also give teams the opportunity to access and use data in a more in-depth way, which could act a leveller to the playing field.

“Do we spend more time on tyres than other teams? I don’t know, but I do know we put a lot of emphasis on them,” Dutto continued. “So for other teams, if they weren’t spending as much time on their tyres, now it is being gift wrapped and handed to them on a platter.

“So this could mix things up a little bit. I am excited about it, I think it’s going to be great.”

Understanding the 18” wheels since their introduction in 2013 with the Car of the Future has been a key factor in unlocking success with the Red Bull Racing Australia Holdens, something into which our engineering team has put a huge amount of work over the last couple of years. However, there’s still always been an element of the unknown, which the sensors will eradicate to an extent.

“It will take the guesswork out of it with the sensors,” Dutto said. “It doesn’t solve everything, but it I am a massive fan.”

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