ACO denies protest, Peugeot appeals

As was expected by most observers, the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) stewards turned down the protest Peugeot lodged yesterday against the front wing design on the Audi R15.

Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI front wing detail.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

"The ACO has the discretionary power to deem whether or not the sole function of an element of bodywork is to generate downforce," said the key sentence of the ACO decision.

Peugeot had argued that the sole function of the R15's front wing flap and appendages is to generate downforce, and since they are not specifically permitted by article 3.6.2 of the current ACO technical regulations, they are forbidden.

Audi's response was based on its two cars having been homologated twice by the ACO, and then scrutineered -- again twice -- verifying conformance with those homologation documents.

"It is based on this discretionary power of appreciation," said the ACO decision, "compounded by the exclusive power it has to interpret the technical regulations as laid out in Article 18, that the ACO homologates the cars which take part in the events covered by its regulations."

Peugeot had announced its intent to appeal any negative decision by the ACO stewards at the time of filing the protest yesterday morning, and the team followed up its threat by filing an appeal within minutes of receiving the decision.

At this time it is not yet clear when the FFSA or FIA might hear the Peugeot appeal, but it is unlikely to take place before the green flag flies to start the June 24H race at 4 PM on Saturday.

Earlier developments: <ul> <li>Audi says R15 aero confirmed as legal <li>Peugeot protests Audi ahead of 24H practice </ul>