GPS monitoring, fewer starters, digital pink flags and extra – the brand new security plan from IOMTT
The heads of the ISLE of Man TT today presented a comprehensive revision of the risk management to increase racing safety.
A number of new measures, including lower numbers of starters, bigger boxes, and the introduction of specialized rapid-reaction vehicles, are on the way as bosses prepare to make big strides in safety before 2022.
Perhaps the most significant change in next year’s races will be the digital warning signal, similar to what is currently used in MotoGP and F1. These are used by the race director in addition to the standard Marshal flags.
The upcoming TT will also pave the way for the introduction of CCTV in key areas of the route, as well as the first introduction of GPS location for all vehicles on the route, including track cars, reaction cars, racing bikes, sidecars and traveling marshals. The GPS tracking system will be tested in 2022 and will be mandatory in 2023.
Over in the Orange Army, the TTMA will oversee the largest rollout of marshal training yet before the next event. The training was developed directly with the race organizers and has been thoroughly revised. The bosses say that all marshals will find the training “more relevant, accessible and easier to navigate”.
On the medical side, in addition to upgrading equipment and safety standards, the TT has acquired a responsive vehicle which it believes is a necessary addition to cover the areas of the Mountain Course that are most difficult to operate with the helicopters. The eco-friendly car will spend the remainder of the year in the service of Noble’s Hospital.
On-site support will also take a step further with a bespoke mobile medical facility and a revamped driver care system. The space for teams in the paddock will be enlarged, the parc ferme is to grow significantly.
But probably one of the biggest changes in racing itself will be the reduction of the start numbers, which should create a “more exclusive field for higher standards and professionalism”.
The major bike races are now limited to a maximum of 50 starters, while all other classes are limited to 60.
On the plus side, the lower start numbers have allowed the bosses to assign larger boxes and allow four-person crews.
Drivers will have longer afternoon sessions, while qualifying – which now takes place in a row instead of the traditional pairs – has also been postponed to the afternoon. The race days now also include a warm-up for one lap to give the racers an additional feel for the conditions.