Drivers penalized for incidents

CLEARWATER, Fla. (August 20, 2002) -- Chief Steward Terry Dale has penalized three Trans-Am Series drivers one finishing position each for instances of unjustifiable risk during Saturday's Johnson Controls 100, Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for...

CLEARWATER, Fla. (August 20, 2002) -- Chief Steward Terry Dale has penalized three Trans-Am Series drivers one finishing position each for instances of unjustifiable risk during Saturday's Johnson Controls 100, Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Tony Ave, Tomy Drissi and John Baucom were demoted from their original finishing positions for violating Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing Rule 2.23.6, which states, "Any action that represents an unjustifiable risk or reckless endangerment, in the opinion of the stewards, will result in the assessment of penalty[ies] -- Decisions by the stewards and penalties assessed for unsafe acts are not subject to protest or appeal."

Ave, who crossed the finish line in fifth place, was cited for causing unjustifiable risk to the car driven by Michael Lewis. He also had 10 seconds added to his elapsed race time for failure to observe a stop-and-go penalty issued for improper pit lane procedure.

The combined penalties dropped Ave from fifth to 11th in the final standings.

Drissi (eighth) and Baucom (11th), were dropped to ninth and 12th places for causing unjustifiable risk to cars driven by Bob Ruman and Mike Davis, respectively.

"We want to send a strong and clear message that we will not tolerate any driver's reckless disregard for the safety of his fellow competitors, or any driver's attempt to compromise his fellow competitor's right to racing room, " Dale said in issuing the penalties.

As a result of the demotions, Randy Ruhlman moves from sixth to fifth place in the official results, while Paul Menard improves to seventh, Paul Fix to eighth, and Don Sak to 10th.

In related news, Trans-Am Series drivers Paul Gentilozzi and Stuart Hayner have been penalized one finishing position each for their roles in separate incidents during Round 7 of the championship at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec on Sunday, August 4.

Gentilozzi was also issued a warning and a $1,000 fine, $500 of which was suspended.

Gentilozzi, the three-time and defending Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup champion, was dropped from fifth to sixth place and fined $1,000 for violation of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing Rules 1.7.23 (Safe Pass), 2.23.2 (Physical Contact), 2.23.3 (Racing Room) and 2.23.6 (Unjustifiable Risk).

The penalties stem from an incident on Lap 4 of the event, when Gentilozzi attempted a pass of Hayner heading into Turn 1 of the Trois-Rivieres temporary street circuit.

Hayner was cited for violation of SCCA Pro Racing Rules 1.7.23, 2.23.2, and 2.23.3 and dropped from sixth to seventh place in the official race results for causing contact with Gentilozzi on Lap 8 of the event.

Dale also fined Gentilozzi's team, Rocketsports Racing, $3,000 and placed it on probation for four races as the result of physical contact with Hayner initiated by a Rocketsports crew member following the Trois-Rivieres event. Dale suspended $2,000 of the fine on condition of no re-occurrence of similar behavior.

Gentilozzi and Hayner lose one championship point each as a consequence of their demotions. Gentilozzi, second to Boris Said in the championship, now has 201 points, while Hayner stands sixth with 156 points, one behind fifth-place Ruhlman.

Official results of Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres Trans-Am now show Simon Gregg moving up from his original eighth-place finish into fifth, ahead of Gentilozzi and Hayner. The result stands as a season best for Gregg and one off his career-best Trans-Am Series finish of fourth at Texas in 2000.

Dale also reported that an extensive technical inspection of several cars following the Trois-Rivieres event revealed no evidence that the cars in question were equipped with any form of traction-control technology.

-scca pro racing-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Paul Fix , Tony Ave , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Randy Ruhlman , Don Sak , Bob Ruman , Michael Lewis , Simon Gregg , John Baucom , Paul Menard