RACV Track Changes: New layout, speed traps, pit lane changes, and penalty display system

RACV Track Changes: New layout, speed traps, pit lane changes, and penalty display system

With the 2017 edition of the RACV Energy Breakthrough fast approaching, we’re announcing some changes to the RACV Track. These include a new layout, the introduction of speed traps, some pit lane changes and a new penalty display system. All of these initiatives are designed to improve the safety of our participants, spectators and event officials.

First … a bit of background

Throughout 2017, the RACV Energy Breakthrough team have been undertaking an extensive review of our medical and emergency services.

This review has included consultations with St John’s Ambulance, Ambulance Victoria, Maryborough District Health Services, RaceSafe Australia and our key marshals and officials to ensure that any participant, supporter or spectator injured at our event is treated as swiftly and effectively as possible.

But, ideally, we’d rather people not get injured in the first place!

Reducing the Risk: RACV Track Changes

So, with that in mind, we’re implementing four new initiatives to reduce the risk on the RACV Track.

Why the RACV Track?

Because this track is of particular focus as the teams are generally travelling at higher speeds and the combination of the HPVs and EEVs together does create a greater speed differential between teams.

Initiative 1: Revised RACV Track: Removal of Crameri Lane / Aldi Section

Introduced two years ago when the EEVs returned to the RACV Track to join the Secondary HPVs, the Crameri Lane / Aldi section has challenged riders, but this will not be continued in 2017. Riders will now head straight up Christian Street and take a left onto Burns Street as per the 2014 layout.

Our medical review identified this as a potential risk area due to limited access for emergency services vehicles.

Key points:

  • The new length of the RACV Track is now 1.58 km.
  • Check the map for the new course layout.


Initiative 2: Speed traps

We’re aware that some top-level EEVs and HPV riders are capable of exceeding our on-track speed limit of 60km/h.

So, in an effort to reduce this risk, we’re introducing multiple ‘speed traps’ around sections of the RACV Track this year that will calculate a vehicle’s speed.

Key points:

  • If you are detected exceeding 60kmp/h at any point around the track, your lap will be immediately void.
  • Voided laps will be displayed on the results display system, but not counted towards a team’s total.
  • Go fast, but not too fast!


Initiative 3: Pit Lane Adjustments

We’ve modified the positioning of some of the pit locations so that they are further away from corners and marshal points to improve the safety level for teams and enhance our marshal’s ability to respond to incidents.

Pit Lanes will also feature more solid barriers and fewer barrier boards this year to reduce the risk of vehicles entering pit lane from the track.

Key points:

  • Some pit bays that have been used in the past are not being used in 2017.


Initiative 4: Display of marshal investigations and penalties

The penalty system for the trial remains unchanged and the process is spelt out in the Trial Regulations published in the School’s Handbook each year.

Here’s a refresher of the relevant section:

11.3 Penalties

A team that breaches any trial regulation including the spirit of competition, will be notified that they are under investigation for an infringement of the competition rules.

A panel of officials will review the incident and apply a penalty, which they consider is consistent with the severity and intent of the infringement.

Incident reviews will be conducted as soon as practical, but in any case will be resolved before the end of the endurance trial.

Penalties may take the form of:

  • A warning.
  • A “stop and go” penalty.
  • A time penalty.
  • 50 lap penalty.
  • Disqualification of a rider.
  • Exclusion from trial results.
  • Withdrawal from competition.

Displaying investigations and penalties

One challenge with an event of our size and scope is communicating when marshals are investigating a team for poor on-track behaviour or when penalties have been served. To increase communication with participating teams, the results display system will show when teams are ‘Under Investigation’ when a penalty and how many penalties have been applied.

Key Points:

  • Teams that are ‘Under investigation’ or who have had a ‘Penalty Applied’ will be identified on the results display system.
  • Severity and details of penalties will not be broadcast, just that a ‘Penalty’ has been applied.

Final Note

The RACV Energy Breakthrough is an education event first and foremost. We don’t want to sound heavy-handed on these initiatives and want to work with you, our students, teachers, support crews and volunteers, to continue to ensure everyone enjoys our event, both this year and into the future.

By |2017-11-03T10:55:35+00:00November 3rd, 2017|Generally Newsworthy|11 Comments

About the Author:

Lachy probably never knew what he was in for when he first volunteered to help out on the Holden Stage at the 2009 RACV Energy Breakthrough. Whilst he participated in the Innovations in Technology category back in 2005, he has been on the 'other side of the fence' ever since and now manages the event's website, wifi network and Holden Stage. Away from the Energy Breakthrough, Lachy is heavily involved in the local Maryborough community across events, community radio and theatre and he was nominated for the for the Saward Dawson Community Service and Volunteering award in 2013.


  1. Hayden Stewart November 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    11.3 Penalties. Indicates (A panel of officials will review the incident and apply a penalty,) This does sound like its a guilty outcome before the review. Is a “Right of appeal” for any stages / steps of this system available please. ? If so could I be pointed to them, if not ? Why not. Yours Hayden Stewart

  2. Ben Dennis November 3, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I like some of the changes such as speed traps an improving barriers in pit lane, however, I can’t understand removing the section of track past Aldi. I follow the logic of inadequate room for emergency vehicles but this is the slowest part of the track and few incidents occur on this section. Furthermore, removing this section reduces the overall length of the track hence increasing congestion and therefore increases the chance of incidents on other faster parts of the track. Seems like flawed thinking on this one.

    • Lachlan Hickey November 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Hey Ben,

      Thanks for your comment.
      Crameri Lane or ‘the ALDI section’ was always going to be somewhat temporary, in an initial attempt to reduce congestion on the track prior to the new EEV pits and track extension at the caravan park end.
      Unfortunately, the crameri lane section is a logistical nightmare, with poor lighting during the night, the effects on local businesses and the inability for any emergency vehicle to travel safely (off track) through this section.

      Our primary concern in this change is safety, and by introducing speed monitoring around the track and promoting penalty applications we hope to make the 2017 event the safest it’s ever been.

  3. J November 4, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Will teams that are assessed a voided lap for breaking the speed limit also be penalised through investigation and another penalty?

    • Lachlan Hickey November 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Thanks for your comment.
      Voided laps are separate to penalties.
      In the event that a team is both exceeding the speed limit and has poor on-track behaviour, a penalty may be applied.

      But to answer your question directly, no. If a simple speed infringement over 60 is detected, further investigation and/or penalties will not be applied.

  4. Ken Calder November 5, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Many dangererous encounters are experienced when drivers overtake on the left, especially at pits. What is being done to alleviate this risk? Are penalties to be applied?

    • Nigel Preston November 6, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Hi Ken,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Passing on the left is a behaviour we do discourage and, if done so dangerously, will be investigated by our Clerk of Course for further action.
      These are the type of investigations that will be displayed on the results display.

      These type of investigations have actually always taken place during the Trial, but we haven’t had a visible way to demonstrate to all teams and officials that an investigation is underway or that a penalty has been applied, until now.

  5. Jef November 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    So with the new speed requirements the teams that want to go for pole position or lap record can’t now ?? Because some kid from any team wants to go for lap record and they could be going over 60km and they void it.. they get lap record they will feel so great and then someone comes over and says “sorry you went over 60km so it doesn’t count” you’ll have a very sad kid and he or she may not want to race at the event next year.

    I think its a bit unfair with the voided laps though. If teams are trying to catch a team who’s 1 lap in front and 10 mins to go.. and they are winning when they go over the line and at presentations and they expect a win and they don’t get it… there will be a fair amount of complaints..

    I think with all these changes teams wont go in the race event in the near future. I personally think the event should go to the way it was in 2014 because it was a very good time and everyone enjoyed themselves and now its miserable with eev’s on the track and getting an overall track win, hpvs getting flipped and pushed around. I think it would be a better if the race went back to the 2014 track for hpv’s have, the eevs go back on there track and have the triathlon after the eevs.. it may be a longer event but everyone will be more happy at the race. and a fantastic atmosphere 🙂

    • Lachlan Hickey November 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Jef,
      Thank you for your comment.

      Please understand that the 60kmph rule is not new, in fact, it has been around for many years. The speed traps are simply a way for us to accurately enforce this rule to ensure the safety of all.

      Voided laps will be automatically represented and not counted on the results, and, can be contested.

      • Jef November 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        I understand the rule isn’t new but its been put up like it is a brand new crackdown rule. 60km is the law of the road under public use with cars and the road is shut off for the Racv event race. So with the cars blocked off for public transport use for the race technically people can go as fast as they can push.

  6. Sam Davis November 29, 2017 at 4:12 am

    I agree the biggest safety issue by far is the EEVs.
    Up to 50kg heavier, a lower centre of gravity and faster through the corners where HPVs are most vulnerable.
    This year and last year our trike was rammed by an EEV associated with a team who’s HPV we were racing. Last year we were rolled. This year it was wet so our rider spun around but managed to continue.
    Get rid of those dangerous thugs!

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