Underwear has drivers hot under collar - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Underwear has drivers hot under collar

By Guy Hand ADELAIDE, March 19 AAP - V8 Supercar drivers say they are in serious danger from new 19/03/2004 08:03:50 PM Comments (0)

V8 Supercar drivers say they are in serious danger from new regulations requiring them to wear neck-to-knee fireproof underwear during Saturday's season-opening Clipsal 500.

The heavy underwear, which motorsport authorities demand the drivers wear under their three-layer driving suits, is expected to send their body temperatures soaring to unsafe levels during the gruelling 250km race.

With temperatures expected to be in the high 20s, cabin heat in the poorly-ventilated V8s is tipped to exceed 40 degrees.

Bathurst champion Greg Murphy and veteran John Bowe are leading the chorus against the underwear, saying their safety is being compromised by world motorsport's governing body FIA's insistence on drivers wearing it.

The FIA says it will improve driver safety, but drivers say the decision only takes into account cooler European weather conditions rather than those in Australia.

Medical research shows when core body temperatures rise above 40 degrees, vital organs can stop functioning properly, fuelling drivers' concerns that they will be at greater risk than usual in Adelaide.

"Something does need to be done, seriously," said Murphy, who won Friday's top 10 shootout to take pole position for Saturday's race.

"The drivers that I've spoken to are not happy and I'm certainly one of those.

"They say you're 60 per cent better off if you're caught in a fire.

"Well you might not get a chance to get caught in a fire because you're stuck in a wall somewhere because your body temperature's gone over 40 degrees and something else has gone wrong." Bowe, the oldest driver on the V8 Supercar grid at 49, was involved in heat testing on V8 drivers two years ago.

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