The season opener at the Clipsal 500 over the weekend won’t soon be forgotten. From 38 degree days to monsoonal rain, there is no doubting it’ll be an event to remember.
For us here at Red Bull Racing Australia, the race meet gave us a chance to show off our newest creation – the twin spar boom. Though with its carbon fibre casing and double arms, you may have mistaken it for a Dalek invading pit lane.
For those playing at home, a pit boom suspends the hoses over the car for the outside wheels. A piece of equipment used across many categories, including Formula 1, the pit boom not only increases efficiency, but it also acts as a safety measure to ensure pit crew don’t get tangled up or the hoses don’t get run over.
So when the time came to re-evaluate the boom for the New Year, Team Manager Mark Dutton seized the opportunity to go hard, or go home.
“At Triple Eight we always like to refresh what we have,” said Dutton.
“Having expanded to a three car team over the summer, we decided to use our existing race proven boom for TeamVortex, which meant we needed a new one for Red Bull Racing Australia. We have been looking to do a twin spar boom for a long time, so now seemed like a good opportunity.”
“F1 have been doing it for years. We had seen it at the AGP and thought the setup always looked good.”
The new setup had plenty to prove on the weekend, with the improved structure already further assisting pit crew.
“This boom is better in the sense that it drops each outside line above the wheel. The boys even commented on the weekend that they didn’t get as tangled as the used to.”
The boom caused some controversy over the Twittersphere on the weekend about whether it abides by the V8 Supercars Operations Manual. Predicting some sort of ‘boom-gate’, Dutto reread the rule book that he already knows inside out from front to back, making sure all the boxes were ticked.
“It is by the rule book, a single boom means a single structure. You can only have one of them,” said Dutton.
“If you wanted to be pedantic, you could look at half the booms up and down pit lane that have two arms, although the two arms run parallel and run closer together, there are still two tubes. We have two tubes, ours are just further apart.”
Well, one only finds limits by pushing them, right?
With a few adjustments still to make, the new approach appears to be working well for all involved.
“With anything new, there are some teething things to get use to. For example, Jamie is so used to looking at the other boom, that’s now used by TeamVortex, he has to be careful to not pull into the wrong bay.
“The two outside wheelmen at Clipsal were really happy with the lines; all in all, it was a success, but we still need to fine tune a few things.”
The Venga Boys had the right idea all along, a “double boom” is always better than just one.
Next on the calendar is the Australian Grand Prix, kicking off in Melbourne, March 17-20.