Join Date: May 2001
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Ford keeps an eye on V8 Supercar 'pill poppers'
Article from drive.com.au
Ford's V8 Supercar battle with arch-rival Holden will take a new, scientific turn at this weekend's Clipsal 500, in Adelaide.
A group of Ford drivers will receive on-track medical monitoring. The unnamed drivers will swallow a pill-sized sensor which transmits core body temperature data every 10 seconds to a computer logger in the pits.
The US-designed CorTempT Disposable Temperature Sensor (COR-100) device was trialled during last year's final V8 Supercar round at Melbourne's Sandown circuit.
Developer of the device, HTI Technology is supported by Ford ... hence the tie-up with Ford's V8 Supercar teams.
Ford's MediRace team led by Ford's Corporate Manager of Health and Safety, and a trained physiologist, Kim Flanagan, will also monitor driver heart rates in Adelaide as well as collect information on hydration and oxygen levels of the drivers.
Tests will be carried out during Friday's practice and qualifying and we will also gather data from the opening 250km race on the Saturday.
And while the information collected won't give the Ford drivers an obvious advantage, it will help them to maximise their physical performance in Sunday's final 250km race.
"Maintenance is the key to this whole program," Kim Flanagan says. "We are not giving the drivers anything special, simply better understanding what each individual requires to keep them at peak performance throughout the race."
Drivers face cabin heat of well over 20 degrees above the ambient air temperature, while being fully clothed in triple-lined flame proof suits and helmets throughout each race.
"Adelaide is a unique event where the drivers are subjected to two very long races on consecutive days," Kim Flanagan says. "It's like two football matches on the same weekend, so we need to make sure of the best recovery process from the opening race as well as prepare them for the second event the following day.
"In a sport such as car racing you can't afford to be fit enough for 90 percent of the race. We believe this program will give the Ford drivers a distinct advantage in the final run to the flag of each race."
Along with Kim Flanagan, the MediRace team includes Medical Team Leader Dr Frank Vella, Dr Tony Bernard, and pathologist and physiotherapist Christine Cagalj.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.