UNSER'S PORTLAND DQ OVERTURNED, INDYCAR OFFICIALS DISCREDITED
by Robert Heathcote, for SpeedNet
The O.J. Simpson defense team must be proud: As members of "The Dream Team" try to discredit procedures of the Los Angeles Police Department, lawyers for Penske Racing have proved to a three-member appeals panel that inspection procedures of IndyCar are equally suspect.
Friday, after a week of testimony and deliberation, the three-member panel ruled in favor of Penske Racing in the appeal of the disqualification of Al Unser Jr., at Portland International Raceway back in June.
After an apparent victory, race officials disqualified Unser Jr's Penske-Mercedes on a technicality. Officials said Unser's car did not meet a regulation in which a minimum of two inches separate the plane defined by the bottom of the car sidepods and the lowest plane of the car.
Penske won the appeal and the reinstatement of Unser's Portland win on a different sort of technicality.
Even though Unser's car was noticeably lower to the ground during his run to victory at Portland than that seen of any other competitor all year -- thought to be an illegal advantage by improving the aerodynamic performance the car -- Penske Racing was able to convince the panel that inspection procedures of IndyCar officials were inconsistent throughout the season, and therefore any such inspection results should not be used by race officials to reach a decision that would disqualify a driver and determine the outcome of a race.
Jimmy Vasser, runner up to Unser at Portland, was originally awarded the win which would have been his first career Indy car victory.
..Robert Heathcote.......................AUTOSPORTS BBS..310-641-9627.. ..Email: HeathcoteR@aol.com...................Email: SpeedNet@aol.com.. ..Opinions are mine -- Not yours -- And surely not those of SpeedNet!..