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.