Isle of Man TT – Anatomy of a Pit Stop

I have always been fascinated by pit stops.   The efficiency and choreography is a pleasure to watch requiring the levels of skills and strength that can be the difference between winning and not. Auto racing where the timing of what lap to pit is a major strategic challenge.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Pits stops are a contrast in motion as one team works while another streaks by

For Formula 1 racing the benchmark for a successful pit is 3 seconds.  Here is an overhead shot that I found of the 20 people, excluding the driver that are used to change all four tires, add fuel.

Ferrari pit stop

Nascar is considerably slower where the benchmark is 13 seconds are only 7 people are allowed ‘over the wall.’

As you would expect things are different at the Isle of Man for the SuperBike, the Senior TT 6-lap races, they pit after the 2nd and 4th lap and take on fuel and get a new rear tire.

For the 4 lap events SuperStock and SuperSport 4 lap events, they pit after lap two for fuel.

As with most things at the TT, it is racing is its rawest form.  A crew of four is allowed over the wall, fuel is loaded via gravity feed (no pressurized filling), and 1 person to change the rear tire.

Here is local Manx hero Dan Kneen, riding for the Penz13.com BMW team coming in for his first pit stop.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Rolling into the pits – time: 14:37:27

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Dan stopped on his mark – time: 14:37:28

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Fueling begun – rear tire jacked up – time: 14:37:29

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

New visor and tear-offs – time: 14:37:32

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

New visor and rear wheel off – time: 14:37:42

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Wheel on & chain on – time: 14:37:52

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Fueling continues – clean windscreen – time: 14:37:58

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Fueling continues – clean windscreen – time: 14:38:01

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Fueling continues – wheel down – time: 14:38:05

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Finishing fueling – time: 14:38:08

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Push start out – time: 14:38:17

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Rolling out – time 14:38:18

I cannot get an exact time of the stop based on the images, but from rolling in to being pushed out is 50 seconds. I am sure it felt like an eternity for Dan Kneen. For some others, the pits meant they were either on or off the podium at the end of the day.

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