SBR Appeal Upheld - Ambrose Gets Points Back!
Ford's Marcos Ambrose is back in the lead of the V8 Supercar Championship Series and the integrity of Stone Brothers Racing remains intact after a successful appeal against the decision to dock them 192 points following last weekend's Queensland 300.
The V8 Supercar National Court of Appeal convened this evening at the CAMS National Office in Melbourne to hear an appeal lodged by SBR with regard to a $10,000 fine and Ambrose's loss of points for a technical breach.
After reviewing all of the evidence, the Court upheld the appeal and consequently the penalty was revised to a $5,000 fine with the 192 points reinstated.
Ambrose, who drives the #1 Pirtek Falcon, now has a 58-point lead over Steven Richards heading into the next round of the championship at Winton Motor Raceway in North-East Victoria on July 23-25.
The appeal by Stone Brothers Racing was against the penalties handed down following a Stewards' finding that their vehicle (Car #1) was in breach of technical rules C8.11.8 and C8.11.9 (AVESCO Operations Manual) in that the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) wiring loom was found to include additional wires and a connector which were not permitted.
The Court said that the revised penalty was comparable with previous decisions relating to ECU loom irregularities but was more serious and reflected the ultimate responsibility of the team manager to ensure conformity with rules that were strict for good reason. The Court also took into account the previously unblemished record of Stone Brothers Racing.
It was again presented and proven in the appeal process that the irregularity was unintentional and that the breach caused no performance advantage.
SBR co-owner Ross Stone, said that the decision by the appeals court was a great relief.
"This is obviously a very pleasing result for us," said Stone.
"At the end of the day the system has not let us down and that is important. I thought it was very fair tonight and handled very professionally.
"It was important for our team to maintain its integrity and this decision allows us to do that. We just want to put this behind us now and get on with winning another championship.
"We were hopeful of success because of the work we had done on our case, but you just never know. So many members of our team worked on getting our submission together and I have to thank our Technical Director Ken Douglas for his tireless efforts and his presentation to the panel tonight."
Ambrose was sitting by his phone anxiously at his Gold Coast home tonight when he received the call from Stone.
"I guess I just feel a great sense of relief," said Ambrose.
"SBR are a dedicated, honest and hard-working race team that really did not deserve to be in this situation.
"Hopefully now the stress levels can return to normal and we can put our heads down for the rest of the season.
"This was a vital situation for SBR, Pirtek, Ford and all our team members, sponsors and fans.
"It is nice to be rewarded for all the hard work last weekend and be back in the championship lead."
Operations Manager Ford Racing, Stephen Kruk, who was at tonight's hearing, was thrilled with the outcome.
"Ford is delighted with tonight's outcome," said Kruk.
"It upholds the faultless integrity of Stone Brothers Racing.
"Obviously it is great to have Marcos back in the lead of the championship and now we can celebrate his great victory at Queensland.
"We look forward to Stone Brothers and the rest of the Ford teams fighting for victory at Winton in a couple of week's time."
The decision of the V8 Supercar National Court of Appeal is binding and final. No further appeal from the determination of an appeal by the Court is either available under, or permitted by, the Rules save for an appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal in accordance with the International Sporting Code.
The $10,000 fee posted for tonight's appeal will be refunded in full.
<pre> RE-REVISED CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (After 6 of 13 rounds) 1: Marcos Ambrose Ford 1064 2: Steve Richards Holden 1006 3: Jason Bright Holden 951 4: Rick Kelly Holden 924 5: Greg Murphy Holden 811 6: Russell Ingall Ford 808 7: Garth Tander Holden 780 8: Todd Kelly Holden 741 9: John Bowe Ford 638 10: Steve Johnson Ford 597
* To be confirmed by AVESCO