CHAMPCAR/CART: Honda engine appeal partly upheld

Appellate Panel Issues Modification Of Initial Protest Ruling CLEVELAND (July 2, 2001) - A three-judge appellate panel issued a modification to the initial decision of the CART Protest Judges regarding Honda Performance Development's protest of...

Appellate Panel Issues Modification Of Initial Protest Ruling

CLEVELAND (July 2, 2001) - A three-judge appellate panel issued a modification to the initial decision of the CART Protest Judges regarding Honda Performance Development's protest of the June 15 mandate of an extension on the manifold pressure relief valve following Monday's hearing at the Wyndham Cleveland Hotel.

The ruling was modified following the eight-hour hearing that included representatives from CART, HPD, Ford and Toyota as well as some FedEx Championship Series owners and drivers. The modification will suspend the use of the ¾-inch extension designed to reduce the potential influence of airflow upon the operation of the valve until Aug. 8, allowing CART and the engine manufacturers ample time to explore alternative solutions. If no suitable alternative is found, CART may re-implement use of the extension for the remainder of the FedEx Championship Series season.

The extension will be suspended for use at the Molson Indy in Toronto (July 15), Michigan 500 Presented by Toyota at Michigan Speedway (July 22) and Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer at Chicago Motor Speedway (July 29). The suspension will be lifted beginning with the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course scheduled for Aug. 10-12.

The decision of the appellate panel is conclusive, final, binding and non-litigable. No person or entity has standing to institute a cause of action in any civil court.

The protest was filed by HPD and the Honda-powered teams of Team Green, Mo Nunn Racing and Adrian Fernandez Racing. Team Penske and Toyota joined the proceedings as interested parties. The protest was heard by an appellate panel consisting of Chief Appellate Judge Philip Elliott and associate judges Dennis Dean and R. Steven Hearn. Each side had three hours to present its case to the panel.

The situation regarding the valve extension initially arose Friday, June 15 when CART issued a bulletin mandating its use by all FedEx Championship Series engine manufacturers - Ford, Honda and Toyota - beginning with that weekend's Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit.

HPD, along with three of its teams, filed an official protest the same day that outlined six grievances. The protest was heard and unanimously denied by the CART Protest Judges. The three judges concluded that there was no basis under the rules for granting HPD's protest and therefore it was denied.

HPD had three business days following the decision to file an appeal with CART and move to the next level in the process - the appellate panel - according to Chapter 12 of the CART Rule Book. The engine manufacturer opted for the appeal, which was heard today and is the final step in the CART appeal procedure.

--CART--

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez
Teams Team Penske