Tharani receives one-race ban for disobeying black flag
Factory Volkswagen India driver Karthik Tharani has been handed a one-race ban for not obeying a black flag in the second Indian Touring Car race in Chennai.
Multiple national-level champion Tharani was adjudged to have not followed the correct start procedure and was consequently handed a drive-through penalty for the infringement.
However, Tharani chose not to come into the pits to serve his drive through, forcing the race control to issue a black flag from lap six onwards.
Tharani chose to ignore the instruction and stayed on track, taking on-the-road victory after passing teammate Ishaan Dodhiwala in the final two laps of the race.
The Chennai-based driver was disqualified from the results and subsequently summoned by the race control, following which the stewards handed him a one-race ban that will apply in the next round in August.
“The competitor was called to give the explanation as to why he ignored the ‘drive through’ penalty board for five laps and ignored the ‘black flag’ for the remaining three laps of the race,” read a statement from the stewards.
“In view of the fact that the competitor is a highly experienced driver and he is also a driver-trainer, the Stewards were of the opinion that exemplary sanctions should be imposed on this driver and a sentence of not being permitted a start in the next race of this championship (One race only).”
Tharani’s win was particularly controversial as he held off the advances of lead privateer Arjun Balu, aiding Dodhiwala’s victory bid.
Balu eventually went off while trying to overtake Tharani and finished third, behind winner Dodhiwala and second-placed Nikanth Ram.