SPEEDWAY: Formula 1 team Force India have joined the speedway revolution at King’s Lynn.
The Stars are taking the sport to a new level with full use of scientific data to ensure they are in tip-top condition for the 2018 season.
The University of East Anglia’s Dr Paul Hammerton and Dr Richard Purvis will be spearheading the programme, which forms the second part of the Stars sports science initiatives for 2018.
Riders are already undergoing physical tests and monitoring but now the club have linked up with UEA to bring mathematics to the sport.
The desired outcome is to develop an electronic tool to assist with speedway race strategy and rider selection.
Force India have been involved, sharing some of their experience in maximising the benefits derived from analysing complex performance data.
Stars co-promoter Robin Brundle said: “Mathematics has played an increasingly important role in developing motorsport strategies over many decades but these strategies are not currently used in speedway.
“While the in-race decisions of tyre choice and pit stops associated with F1 racing are not directly applicable to speedway, the mathematics used will have a role to play in the subtle strategy of speedway.”
The UEA will look at how mathematical algorithms can be developed to guide strategic decisions, before and during the meeting.
Dr Hammerton said: “The first phase of the project will be for a summer student to analyse results from the 2017 season, focusing on the probabilities of race outcomes based on rider ratings.”
Dr Purvis added: “By the end of the season, we may see mathematics playing more of a role in rider recruitment, team order and strategic substitutions.”
That excites co-promoter Dale Allitt who said: “Managing a speedway team is far more complex than you would imagine. A manager’s experience is gained over a number of years and like most sports at this level, you can never have too much information.”
Brundle expects the scheme to take time to bed in and explained: “From my experience in top-flight motorsport, this programme will take some time to develop. Each stage will deliver an improved management tool that will inform our thinking around race strategy.
“In addition I expect it to assist in our future rider selection and retention programmes.”