Swiss debris fence manufacturer Geobrugg has revealed a new lighting system which could potentially pave the way for more night races in Formula 1 and other series.
In conjunction with lighting company DZ Engineering SRL – current suppliers to the Singapore Grand Prix – the two companies have put together a new value for money lighting system which can be utilised at most race tracks around the world.
The idea is the lights would be attached to long poles which can then be fixed to the FIA-homologated catch fencing at both the top via stabilisation struts at the top and bottom for stability.
This integration of already existing systems will therefore ideally remove the need for circuits to seek bespoke systems elsewhere at vast expense.
“Geobrugg’s range of FIA-homologated debris fences have a ‘plug in and play’ philosophy at their heart, so to develop a new, lighting-friendly system to simplify the process of hosting night races is another positive step forward,” said Jochen Braunwarth, Geobrugg’s Director of Motorsport Solutions.
“It also links into another key element of our ethos, which is cost effectiveness. Night races can be expensive, particularly on temporary venues such as street circuits, so by combining the costs of those two systems together, we could see an increased feasibility for these events to take place.”
The intention is to use the system in non-spectator areas, or areas with limited space for installation of other resource-heavy systems.
Several crash tests have also taken place to ensure the viability to the design. One test included launching a one tonne car at 120kph, which showed no movement to the lighting poles which were positioned at various distances.
Roberto Grilli, General Manager of DZ Engineering, added: “We’re very satisfied with the system’s performance during both crash tests, and it’s been a great exercise to combine our resources with Geobrugg to open up a new avenue of development in this area.
“I hope this means that other championships get to benefit from spectacular night races that appeal to fans worldwide.”
Formula 1 held its first night race in Singapore in 2008, since when events in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi have been held beneath floodlights, with next year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix also set to take place at twilight.