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With the growing competitiveness in the Supercars Endurance series, every detail is crucial, and pit stops can define races.


This year’s Iberian Supercars, Supercars Jarama RACE and Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade races are fought down to the second, as seen in the second challenge at Jerez. After forty-five minutes of competition, the top three were separated by just 1.126 seconds, with the second and third-placed drivers only 0.003 seconds apart. In a photo finish, Miguel Lobo in the Veloso Motorsport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 edged out Nerea Martí in the BMW Motorsport España M4 GT4.


With such narrow margins determining victory and defeat, every single second counts toward the final result, making pit stops critical moments for all teams in each race.


The driver change window opens in the twentieth minute and closes at the end of the twenty-ninth, giving teams flexibility to choose the ideal moment for the mandatory pit stop.


Two factors influence the timing of pit stops: track traffic and the availability of the fastest driver in the duo.


With many cars on the track—there were forty-eight at Jerez—managing traffic can be decisive for the final result. Strategically, teams might opt for an early pit stop to avoid a group of cars their driver is approaching, which could otherwise cost them significant time.


Conversely, delaying the stop might be more advantageous if the current driver can gain time on opponents, allowing their teammate to return to the track ahead of them after the pit stop. This strategy could help improve their standings or avoid time losses due to latecomers, depending on the situation.

“Traffic is a key factor in deciding when to make a driver change pit stop. A well-timed pit stop can gain you crucial seconds for an undercut move. It's also vital for position fights given the high level of competition on track this year in Supercars series”, says Nil Montserrat, the Team Manager and Driver of NM Racing Team.


But these nuances must be combined with the driver's capabilities. The performance difference between the drivers of each car can vary, but generally, one driver is at least slightly faster.

This factor influences the decision-making process. Teams might decide to extend a stint if the faster driver is in the car or bring the stop forward if the slower driver is behind the wheel.

Strategy, therefore, becomes a complex process that can make the difference between success and disappointment at the end of the race. Additionally, there is the operational aspect of pit stops.

The pit stop to change drivers must last 120 seconds (plus any handicaps the top three finishers from the previous race in each division receive) from the moment a car crosses the line into the pit lane until it exits.

During these two minutes, each car must complete the entire pit lane, stop, change drivers, and start again. If the process is well-practiced, the time is sufficient. The key is to exceed 120 seconds as little as possible—plus any necessary handicap—and return to the track without losing time, or even gaining on rivals.


It may seem simple at first glance, but for a pit stop to go smoothly, teams must start timing the stop precisely when the car crosses the pit lane entry line and send the car back onto the track so that it crosses the pit lane exit line exactly, or a few tenths of a second later, when the mandatory minimum pit stop time is completed.


“To stay within the 120-second range, we monitor the time using the pit timer, which we configure with GPS. To be more certain, we also use a regular stopwatch starting from the first free practice session. During the race, we have a mechanic standing on the line to time it precisely and to serve as a backup in case the pit timer fails”, explains Jaka Marinšek, Lema Racing's Team Manager.


It sounds complicated, and indeed it is, not least because the teams also have to manage the traffic in the pit lane, where the cars have to maintain as stable a speed as possible, and there is almost constant communication between the driver and his race engineer throughout the process.


Effective communication, streamlined processes, decisive decision-making, and swift reactions are imperative for each team to maximize the opportunities that pit stops present. They must carefully manage the risk of incurring a heavy penalty for failing to meet the minimum stop time, even by just 0.1 seconds.


By maximising all these factors, critical time can be gained or lost and, in races where the top three places have been defined by less than two seconds, the difference between glory and disappointment can lie in the strategy and execution around pit stops.






1. Daniel Teixeira (JT59 Racing Team) +0.094s

2. Salvador Tineo/Luis Gonzalez (Team VRT) +0.281s

3. Guillermo Aso/Filip Vava (NM Racing Team) +0.517s

4. Sérgio Azevedo/Orlando Batina (Batina Racing) +0.937s

5. Smorg/Javier Macias (Promotion Motorsport) +1.056s


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