Despite only completing one round of the CDM Boremula 1 World Championship, drivers and organisers have come together and agreed on a couple of changes to add to the excitement, spectacle and competition to the series.
Fuel Limit Change
The first and most subtle change will be the increase of the maximum fuel allowed in the cars to 50%. Previously they were limited to 25% in the interests of forcing at least one pit stop from drivers. It was brought to light that while the fuel limit can be put in place, a fixed setup with a certain amount of fuel can still be enforced, so...
Drivers will start the race with 25% fuel, meaning they cannot get to the end of the race without stopping. However, if there is an incident or crash in the opening laps, drivers that need to pit for repairs, will now be able to take enough fuel to make it to the chequered flag, as they're able to add enough fuel up to the limit of 50%.
This means that anyone that gets involved in an accident, whether it's their fault or not, can still salvage a result - and maybe even points - from the evening. Kevin Zwemstra was one of the unlucky drivers involved in the Lap 1 contact at Phillip Island, and recovered well to be running within the Top 10 again with a third of the race left to go, but eventually he would need to pit for more fuel, completely scuppering his chances.
Drivers that pit in the opening few laps will not be at an overall advantage off the back of this rule change, as they'll surely have to recover any time lost from the incident they were a part of, so it should keep things interesting as the season develops, while also keeping the racing enjoyable for the drivers, because those that put in hours of practice before the lights go out don't want to make it half a lap, let's face it.
Due to the high amount of slipstreaming / drafting going on in the opening meeting - which was completely expected - Qualifying became more of a luck-of-the-draw session, with drivers that are in the same teams outside of this championship working together to get themselves up the order.
There's nothing wrong with this, but it took away some of the raw pace required to set a time that put you near the front of the grid. On top of this, it almost made the pre-season testing procedure completely irrelevant, as it shook up the grid massively compared to what was expected.
Going forward, drivers will take part in One-Shot Qualifying! They will only get one lap to set a time, spending it alone on track. The session will still be "open" by iRacing terminology, but cars will come out on track one at a time. They will be released in reverse championship order, with the second car emerging from the pits once the first car has begun their flying lap and passed the pit lane exit.
This may elongate the Qualifying session, but will provide a more entertaining and detailed look at each driver's lap, and add a great level of spectacle to the whole event and championship. It's not something that's seen too often in sim racing - at least with the cars going out individually as part of the same session - so we look forward massively to what it may bring.
There are going to be rules in place to stop drivers from using unwanted methods of gaining an advantage, as is possible in sim racing, but the cooperation and willingness of the drivers to follow procedure so far this season has been fantastic, so it's sure to continue.
We hope you can join us for Round 2 of the championship which takes place on the 2nd of March! See you then!
Images courtesy of Gilles Gardner.