Garry Rogers calls Symmons Plains restart ‘bemusing’

Supercars team owner Garry Rogers has labelled the decision to restart last Saturday’s race at Symmons Plains ‘bemusing’, but says it was the right decision to ultimately not award championship points.

Garry Rogers calls Symmons Plains restart ‘bemusing’
Crash on the second lap
Crash on the second lap
Crash on the second lap
Crash on the second lap
Safety car
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford
James Moffat, Garry Rogers Motorsport
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden, Craig Lowndes, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Saturday’s race was stopped after the first lap when a massive pile-up took out a third of the field, including both Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodores, both Garth Tander and James Moffat caught up in the melee.

Following a lengthy clean-up Supercars officials elected to restart the race under Safety Car conditions – with cars still be recovered on the run down the hairpin – before a half-lap run under green before the race was declared.

It was eventually confirmed that no points would be awarded based on the result, but that Shane van Gisbergen’s win would still technically stand.

Rogers, who was seen remonstrating with officials in the moments following the initial restart, wrote in his post-race wrap that he found the decision to send the cars back on track ‘bemusing’ and ‘a farce’.

“What followed this major crash was quite bemusing,” Rogers wrote.

“I don’t have the rule book in front of me but if a race runs less than 50 per cent and does not restart no points are awarded. But, if it is restarted championship points are awarded regardless of how long it runs.

“For some reason with tow trucks in pitlane, people everywhere, and cars still abandoned on the circuit edges it was decided to restart the race behind the Safety Car.

“This so-called restart was a farce with the SC releasing the field on the final corner to only race 100 metres to the finish line, hence under the rules permitting a result with only two-and-a-bit racing laps completed and half of the field being unable to take part.

“Thankfully overnight common sense prevailed and no points were awarded.”

McLaughlin calls for more driver involvement

With low visibility due to spray and evening sunlight a major factor in the multi-car smash, Scott McLaughlin has called for drivers to have more of a say in whether track conditions are safe for racing.

“I think the stewards should consider speaking to the drivers a little bit more before we go out to play,” said McLaughlin.

“We’re probably the ones with the best judgement out of everyone, not just a Safety Car that rolls around at 80 km/h.

“I think we should be able to have a comment and a say on whether a race should start under Safety Car or whatever.

“We’ve still got to put a show on, but [on Saturday] it was low sun, there was a lot of mist… I could hardly see anything and I was in third place.

“So I think they should maybe think about consulting a few of the drivers. Maybe Jamie [Whincup], he’s a six-time champion. There’s a few experienced guys that can probably put the category in a better position.”

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