Motorsport Ireland will introduce a new rally safety tracking system from January 2020 in a bid to make events safer and run more smoothly.
The rally safety tracking system, distributed by 4Rally, will make its first official debut during the Donegal Mini Stages on 25 January 2020 on competitive days (not during reconnaissance). The hope is that using the hardware will help organising clubs to reduce the response time to any competitors that may require medical assistance during the event. Crews will also be able to relay vital information concerning a fire or road-blockage and mitigate the risk of a situation escalating into a more serious one.
Units will be provided to clubs and competitors without the need for a deposit, but Motorsport Ireland does say that in the event that a unit is damaged or goes missing, the competitor will be billed for the full amount of replacing the unit. Following its trial run at the Donegal stages, Motorsport Ireland will issue more detailed processes and procedures for all parties.
According to 4Rally, the unit can withstand direct pressure of up to 5,000kg and has been built with durability in mind. All of its connectors feature locking mechanisms to prevent any accidental disconnection either during a stage or in the event of an accident. It will generally run off the car’s 12-volt electrical supply. However, should it detect any loss in power it reverts to a built-in battery to ensure constant operation. The device does not have the requirement for any exterior antenna for its GPS or GSM connection, meaning that in the event of a rollover, the unit will continue to transmit and receive.
Motorsport Ireland states that it conducted several tests of the system at various events during the 2019 season throughout different terrains and with differing levels of traffic on the local cellular mobile network. These all resulted in satisfactory outcomes leading to the decision to introduce the units for 2020.