CAMS V8 Supercar Stewards Declare Besnard Winner at Symmons Plains
CAMS V8 Supercar Stewards today released their findings over the running of Race 3 at Symmons Plains, Tasmania on 14 November 2004, declaring David Besnard the winner, followed by Jason Bright and Mark Skaife.
The Stewards determined that race officials were in fact correct in their assessment of the situation in the first instance, but after considerable pressure from numerous sources in pit lane, they corrected the "perceived error" which resulted in the wrong driver receiving the chequered flag at the conclusion of Race 3.
A Safety Car deployment after Paul Weel's crash started the chain of events leading to the doubt over the result of Race 3.
Race Director Tim Schenken deployed the Safety Car immediately after Weel's crash. Under normal circumstances, the Safety Car waits for the race leader before entering the circuit however Schenken believed that the circumstances of the Weel crash demanded that whole field needed to be slowed and controlled immediately. In this instance, the safety Car picked up the first possible car on the race track, car #51, Greg Murphy. While unusual, this type of Safety Car deployment is in compliance with the rules.
At the time that the Safety Car was deployed, there were four cars running in front of Murphy that had not completed their compulsory pit stop. Murphy and the rest of the field had completed their stops already.
The four cars (#50, Jason Bright, #23, David Besnard, #2, Mark Skaife, and #75, Anthony Tratt) made their stop and exited the pits before the Safety Car completed a lap of the circuit and reached pit lane, thus gaining a lap over the rest of the field in accordance with the rules.
Schenken instructed the Safety Car to wave other cars through and pick up the leader of the group of four, the actual race leader, David Besnard. It was at this time that the majority of teams in pit lane objected.
As a result of the objections, senior officials experienced doubts over the accuracy of the timing information and took steps to adjust what appeared to be a timing anomaly based on what teams were saying.
The stewards' investigation has since shown that the timing information was correct and that David Besnard was the race leader during the Safety Car period.
The results were established by the Stewards at the conclusion of lap 41 in accordance with the FIA procedures thus awarding car #23, David Besnard, the victory.
The CAMS Stewards made their findings after reviewing detailed timing printouts, Network 10 footage and in-car footage to ascertain what occurred at the time of the deployment of the Safety Car in Race 3 following the crash of Paul Weel.