Pacific F2000 Tribunal Rules After Sunday Protest Buttonwillow, Calif. (April 3, 2007) -- The results of last Sunday's fourth round of the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Hankook Tires at Willow Springs International Raceway have ...
Pacific F2000 Tribunal Rules After Sunday Protest
Buttonwillow, Calif. (April 3, 2007) -- The results of last Sunday's fourth round of the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Hankook Tires at Willow Springs International Raceway have been amended following a protest that was lodged with the event stewards immediately following the race.
The protest alleged that second-place finisher Shaun Modisette, driver of the #26 Carson Trailer/PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen, had gained an unfair advantage through changing all four wheels and tires prior to the start of the race. Extreme tire wear was experienced by all competitors on the high-speed road course, but series rules demand that only one set of tires may be used during a race weekend, unless prior dispensation has been agreed and approved by the chief steward.
A tribunal was convened this morning, comprising series promoter Les Phillips, chief steward Peter West and tire supplier Bob Schaefer, and the following statement was issued:
"The confusion over our tire rule was partially due to an official's misstatement of using replacement tires after qualifying but starting at the back [of the field]. The misstatement was corrected before the Sunday race and two participants were allowed to replace two front tires with used tires. To compensate for the confusion started by the misstatement the subject cars #29 and #34 were allowed to retain their starting positions of 13th and 14th.
"In the confusion car #26 appeared on the grid in last position with what turned out to be four scuffed tires. The authorization for this tire use was not granted by our steward but was presumed to be acceptable by the subject team due to general conversations with officials. As our steward was not advised before the race start of the tire change the replacement represents a break with all written and unwritten practice governing our tire rules over the past three-plus years. With the exception of one rollover incident that resulted in four tires being destroyed we have never allowed four tires to be replaced. All other tire replacements have been restricted to two or less and always after consulting with the steward and tire vendor for a ruling on damage. The movement from last to second place appears to be a clear unfair and unauthorized advantage to car #26.
"As a result of the tire change, but also considering the confusion caused by the official's misstatement, a complete disqualification of car #26 will not be made. However, a penalty computed by taking [his] grid position of seventh place less three positions to 10th place will be assessed. Positions three through 10 will all move up one place and car #26 will earn 10th-place points.
"We all regret the confusion and a more defined tire rule will be distributed prior to our next race here at Buttonwillow Raceway on the weekend of May 5/6."
The revised finishing order for Sunday's race is as follows: 1. Patrick Barrett; 2. Chris Sprietzer; 3. Jeff Westphal; 4. Chuck Hulse; 5. Thomas Merrill; 6. Peter Hastrup, 7. Ira Fierberg; 8. Nicky Freytag; 9. Peter Hansel; 10. Modisette; etc
The revised championship points table is as follows: 1. Barrett, 110; 2. Spreitzer, 97; 3. Westphal, 87; 4. Mitchell Cunningham, 63; 5. Merrill & Scott Rarick, 52; 7. Freytag & Hulse, 49; 9. Hastrup, 45; 10. Philip Metzger, 44; etc.