Images courtesy Brad Jones Racing
Images courtesy Brad Jones Racing
11 June 2015

The demands of a big race can make some motorsports athletes go to water – and that’s where The University of Queensland comes in.

In partnership with V8 Supercars team Brad Jones Racing, the UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences has been analysing drivers’ hydration and their physiological responses.

PhD candidate and project leader Justin Holland said the research was of particular importance to driver safety and performance.

“Previous literature shows drivers can lose more than two per cent of bodyweight during a race,” Mr Holland said.

“This figure has been associated with reductions in cognitive performance, such as reaction time, and also in endurance capacity.”

Mr Holland described motorsport as the “neglected cousin” of the sports science industry, even though many drivers and riders trained relentlessly.

Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, for instance, was said to have spent up to six hours at the gym in a day.

“We are working with three drivers from the Brad Jones Racing Group and they have all been tremendous,” Mr Holland said.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with such a high-quality team, and the research we are doing is starting to create interest in the wider motorsports community.

“The data the drivers provide us will inevitably form the basis for future guidelines for the sport.”

Brad Jones Racing said they were excited to work with Mr Holland and his team to discover “what we can do to improve driver performance”.

Drivers will be tested during competition and will then attend the UQ St Lucia campus at the end of July for performance testing in the physiology laboratories.

Media: Justin Holland +61 400 024 492,; UQ Communications Robert Burgin +617 3346 3035, +617 448 410 364, Image caption above: Fabian Coulthard from Brad Jones Racing behind the wheel.