POST RACE PENALTY ISSUED TO STEVE RICHARDS March 25, 2007 - Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards has been handed a 23 second post race penalty following yesterday's opening 50 lap V8 Supercar race at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway. The penalty...
POST RACE PENALTY ISSUED TO STEVE RICHARDS
March 25, 2007 - Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards has been handed a 23 second post race penalty following yesterday's opening 50 lap V8 Supercar race at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway.
The penalty was imposed by the V8 Supercar Championship Series Invesigations and Prosecutions Officer for what was deemed to be an Unsafe Release of Richards' Castrol FPR Falcon following the driver's compulsory pit stop on lap 19.
Richards is now forced to start today's second 50 lap race from outside the top twenty on the starting grid, ensuring a tough day ahead for the double Perth round winner.
FPR Motorsport Director Tim Edwards is disappointed with the severity of the post race penalty, which has been compounded due to the late race Safety Car period that bunched the field up in the closing stages of the race.
"We had some major issues to contend with in the pits yesterday, not the least of which was the injury sustained by our car controller just moments before the start of the race. Without our experienced car controller and in the chaos that ensued along the pit lane during our compulsory stop, Steve was sent out a fraction too soon. This penalty is no fault of his as he relies entirely on us to send him out into a clear pit lane, but to also do this as quickly as possible. We understand that these penalties are important to ensure safe pit lane operations, but the severity of this penalty has virtually eliminated Steve from having any form of a successful round."
Following the team's lower than expected qualifying results in Perth, the team was buoyed by the strong race performances by Richards and Winterbottom during yesterday's 50 lap race. Richards progressed from 13th on the starting grid yesterday to finish 9th in a strong performance on this notoriously non overtaking friendly circuit. The promising pace of the Castrol FPR Falcon and that of his his team mate Mark Winterbottom in the Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon (who finished 12th from 15th on the grid) augured well for a potentially successful weekend.
Richards' post-race penalty was one of four infringements imposed on drivers following yesterday's 50 lap race. Penalties were also issued to Russell Ingall, Jamie Whincup and Max Wilson.