Racing is about finding an advantage. At AER, we want to minimize the advantages you can buy. One way we’re trying to do this is with our “stint & stop” rules.
In endurance racing, a car that can run longer has an advantage because it needs to stop less. This can be achieved by how it’s driven, but it can also be achieved with a large fuel cell. We wanted teams to be competitive with the cars they already have, which oftentimes have stock tanks. We didn’t want the purchase of a large fuel cell to be necessary to podium in an AER race. Because of this, we are mandating the number of stops each team must make during a race. We calculate the number of stops by dividing the race duration, in minutes, by 90 and subtracting 1. So for a 9-hour race: 540/90 – 1 = 5 stops. If your car can run for 90 minutes, it can be competitive in an AER race. This still allows teams to manage strategy because they don’t have to pit every 90 minutes. They can stop whenever they want—as long as they make the required number of stops.
An advantage can also be gained by achieving faster pit stops. We didn’t want teams buying an advantage here with expensive, gravity-fed, dry-brake fueling rigs. For this reason, we’ve set the minimum time you’re allowed for your stops to 3 minutes. This is measured between the line marking the entry to the hot pits to the line marking the exit. Magnetic timers will be placed on the cars, but we will also have a record of your in/out times via our barcode scanners. Since we allow driver changes while fueling, we think that a well-rehearsed and well-staffed team can fill the car and change the driver in 3 minutes using readily available, 5-gallon jugs. Teams that are not well prepared will go over 3 minutes and waste valuable track time.