It seems kind of contradictory on one hand, as cars flying around a track at full speed for no reason other than to entertain crowds doesn't really give off any kind of safe driving message to begin with.
Even so, during the weekend's latest round of the V8 Supercars at Barbagallo, Perth, drivers were given a strict briefing instructing them not to do burnouts at the end of the race. Mr Whitaker recently told Speedcafe.com,
"There are sound and logical reasons why we don’t encourage burnouts, not to mention we also want to send a positive message to young people when it comes to road safety and how they should behave."
Mr Whitaker added,
"In fact, apart from the champion at the final event, burnouts have never been allowed for these very good reasons. We are not trying to be big brother, just take a common sense approach."
Celebratory 'donuts' have been going on in all types of motorsport for years, but reports say the ban was provoked and put forward after Shane Van Gisbergen conducted a large celebratory display (see video below) at the New Zealand round of V8 Supercars in Hamilton.
Van Gisbergen's effort was so large that it interrupted the post-race interview process.
In an unrelated V8 Supercar safety story, the weekend's round at Barbagallo was also home to a spectacular start-line accident involving Karl Reindler and Steve Owen.Reindler stalled at the start of the race while Owen, unable to see the stationary car, rear-ended Reindler at an approximate speed of 150km/h, causing a huge fireball upon impact.
Reindler suffered burns to his face and hands while Owen is said to be suffering from minor injuries including a sore stomach. Reindler spoke soon before heading to hospital for treatment, saying,
"Before I knew it I saw flames inside the car. I guess I panicked and tried to get out as quick as I could. My body's fine, it's just my hands."
Confederation of Australian Motorsports will review the accident to assess if the track marshals reacted in respectable time to the accident.
Take a look at the video above for a full replay of the accident, and the video below for an overview of the wreckage.
Update 03/05/2011:Whitaker has confirmed that after talking with V8 Supercar operations, the winning driver will be now be able to perform a ‘burn-out’ in a designated area.“This is something the fans want and it is customary across many disciplines of the sport for a driver to display his exuberance in such a way. Contrary to the way the issue was reported and interpreted at the Perth event, we actively encourage displays of emotion from winning drivers but we have to ensure they are performed in a safe and responsible manner. From a wider perspective we then need to ensure it is not something we are encouraging people, particularly young people, to do outside of a racing environment. This is a facet of the safety message that we encourage through the many school and community activities that our drivers undertake throughout the year.”