Van Gisbergen escapes penalty, Penske protests decision

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Van Gisbergen escapes penalty, Penske protests decision
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Nov 3, 2018, 8:51 AM

Triple Eight's Shane van Gisbergen has escaped penalty for his controversial wheel-spinning pitstop during his thrilling Supercars race win at Pukekohe, a decision that has been protested by DJR Team Penske.

The Kiwi won a thrilling battle with McLaughlin at the New Zealand circuit this evening, having to sprint to the flag after copping a five-second penalty for contact with McLaughlin.

He managed to pull a 5.5s advantage to win the race, but did so under the cloud of a post-race investigation for spinning wheels during his second stop.

While highly-anticipated that he'd be slapped with a 35s penalty in lieu of a drive-through, van Gisbergen has escaped penalty.

That means he keeps his win, and McLaughlin's series lead is still two points rather than the 95 it would have been if he'd been penalised.

"Following a review of the broadcast footage from a number of angles and Supercars data from car #97, it was observed that the rear wheels of car #97 did not complete in excess of a full revolution," read a stewards statement.

"Consistent with previous determinations of the DRD, when investigating if a breach of Rule D11.8.8 has occurred, the rear wheels must complete in excess of one full revolution for the imposition of a penalty to be recommended to the stewards."

DJR Team Penske has protested the decision. 

Explaining the controversial stop, van Gisbergen reckons it was a handbrake issue and that he still had the clutch depressed.

"I didn't feel the wheels spin, the clutch was on the floor," said van Gisbergen. "But I just let my handbrake go a bit earlier than before, and it must have started spinning. I didn't even know about it until after the race."

According to the Supercars regulations, Rule D11.8.8 reads: "During any pitstop, from the time the car leaves the ground until it returns to the ground, it is not permitted to have the clutch engaged so as to cause the rear wheels to rotate unless prior approval is given by the S&TD.

"Where the S&TD grants such approval, the wheels must stop rotating prior to the car being lowered to the ground. For the sake of clarity, the wheels must not be rotating while the car is being lowered to the ground.

"A slight movement of the rear wheels indicating the engagement of a gear will not, at the sole discretion of the S&TD, constitute the rear wheels rotating."

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