Davidson calls for WEC rain light changes after Nakajima crash

Anthony Davidson has called for brighter rain lights for cars in the World Endurance Championship following the accident in which his Toyota team-mate Kazuki Nakajima fractured a vertebra

Davidson calls for WEC rain light changes after Nakajima crash

An unsighted Nakajima ploughed into the back of the slow-moving Audi of Oliver Jarvis when Marcel Fassler in another Audi pulled out of its slipstream before the braking zone at the end of Spa's Kemmel Straight.

Nakajima aiming to be fit for Le Mans

The reigning world champion also suggested the rain lights on the rear of the cars should flash as in Formula 1.

"The rain lights are categorically not bright enough; they need to be brighter and flash on all of the cars, but the GTs more than the prototypes," he told AUTOSPORT.

"They need to flash like in F1; there is a reason why aircraft lights flash."

Flashing rain lights were introduced for LMP2 cars for this season to allow following drivers to distinguish them from P1 machinery in wet conditions.

Davidson said that "what happened to Kazuki at Spa is every driver's worst nightmare".

"I feel a bit helpless because no one understands what it is like to be out there in the spray," Davidson continued.

He suggested that the spec rain light supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems to all F1 teams was brighter than those used in WEC.

Neither the rules in F1 nor for LMP1 specify a minimum brightness, measured in lumens for LED lights, because of the difficulty making measurements.

Audi Sport LMP boss Christopher Reinke said: "It has been discussed, but how would it be measured?

"Would that be in drive-by and at which angle? Or in a light tunnel? It was getting too complex."

The issue remains under discussion between the rulemakers and the manufacturers, Automobile Club de l'Ouest sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil confirmed.

But he said that he was "not sure that brighter lights would have helped" in the case of Nakajima's accident.

A spec part is unlikely to be introduced, at least in the prototype classes, because the rules call for the rain lights to be located on the trailing edge of the rear wing endplates.

A common specification of light would therefore limit aerodynamic freedoms and is opposed by the manufacturers.

Flashing rain lights could also be problematic for LMP1 machinery because the brake lights flash if the car decelerates by more than 0.4g within a 0.2-second period, although the rain light also flashes in F1 in a similar torque-reduction scenario.

This was introduced in P1 for this season for safety reasons because throttle lift-off — either automatic or by the driver - is often required to ensure a car does not to exceed the maximum fuel usage over a lap.

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