Sigma penalties reduced; Toronto points and earnings penalties reviewed. TROIS-RIVIERES, Qc., (August 2, 2002) -- After further reviews and discussions, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Chief Steward, K.C. Van Niman, amended the penalties that...
Sigma penalties reduced; Toronto points and earnings penalties reviewed.
TROIS-RIVIERES, Qc., (August 2, 2002) -- After further reviews and discussions, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Chief Steward, K.C. Van Niman, amended the penalties that were levied on Rocky Moran Jr. (Sigma Autosport/Sunoco/BG Products Swift 014.a) following the Round 7 event at the Molson Indy Toronto.
Following the race where he finished third, Moran Jr. was fined 14 Championship points along with the forfeiture of $10,000 in race winnings after his car failed the post race inspection per rule 9.2.2c (Item 6).
"During an in depth review of the Series Technical inspection at the Molson Indy Toronto event, procedural irregularities were discovered," said Van Niman. Specifically, the team was not given an opportunity to re-check the car and it was released from tech prior to resolving the matter with the team. In addition, the stewards were bound by minimum penalties per 10.1. in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship rulebook that allowed no latitude with respect to the penalty itself."
Van Niman continued. "The technical inspection process has subsequently been reviewed and new guidelines are now in place and rule 10.1. has been amended. These measures have been taken to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future."
As a result of these findings, the penalty imposed on Moran Jr. and Sigma Autosport has been reduced to the loss of five Championship points and the forfeiture of $5,000 in race winnings. The adjustment to the penalty is consistent with the new procedures as well as rule 10.1.
With the addition of nine points to his Championship total, Moran Jr. leaps from seventh place in the Championship to fourth with a total of 79 points. Heading into this weekend's race at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres, Moran Jr. now trails points leader, Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a) by 22 points.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is one of the world's premier open-wheel development series and the top rung on CART's "ladder system", as well as having $100,000 race purses and a one million dollar points fund. It is also noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic Series are CART Champ Car stars Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani as well as former series champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan and Jacques Villeneuve.