Saturday, 12/5/01 The powerhouse of the V8 Supercar category, the Holden Racing Team, has been handed an unprecedented punishment after stewards took a dim view of some post race antics by an unidentified team member at the last round at Eastern...
Saturday, 12/5/01 The powerhouse of the V8 Supercar category, the Holden Racing Team, has been handed an unprecedented punishment after stewards took a dim view of some post race antics by an unidentified team member at the last round at Eastern Creek, concluding that the actions were such as to bring the sport of motor racing in to disrepute.
The 'doughnuts' performed at the back of the pit buildings in the hours following the racing on Sunday 29 April in a team promotional vehicle earned the team a $10,000 fine, plus a deduction of 30 championship points from both team drivers, Mark Skaife and Jason Bright.
Skaife and Bright had just completed a 1-2 finish for the team which had earned them 135 1and 120 points respectively. Bright retains the lead and Skaife remains second in the Shell Championship Series standings after the deduction.
Race Director, Tim Schenken and CAMS stewards, Garth Wigston, Steve O'Connor and Peter Svensson convened on the matter with team manager, Jeff Grech on Friday afternoon, and completed their inquiry this morning at Darwin's Hidden Valley circuit, where the teams are gathered for the fourth round of the series.
The matter came to the stewards attention after a letter from Eastern Creek Raceway Manager, Chris Hohns, was sent to Wayne Cattach, CEO of the sport's governing body, AVESCO. Cattach referred the matter to the stewards and informed Grech of the possibility of further inquiries.
The CAMS official summary of the finding states, "it was alleged a member of HRT used a Holden promotional vehicle to do 'doughnuts' in the immediate vicinity of the pit bays and corporate suites and alcohol appeared to have played some part. In the circumstances, it was alleged that the conduct of team members was such as to bring the sport into disrepute, having regard to the incident being observed by officials and police personnel." The official decision took into account the circumstances surrounding Eastern Creek at the time. The circuit is in the spotlight regarding issues of safety and responsibility following the death of racing car driver, Todd Wilkes in February.
Grech admitted the factual basis of the allegation, concurred that the actions were very serious and advised that the individual concerned would be subject to internal team discipline regardless of the outcome of the inquiry. He offered no defence to the substance of the allegation and the team will not be appealing the decision. No official comment was offered from HRT, other than what was stated in the CAMS summary of the findings and Grech's contribution to the inquiry.