Penske protest unsuccessful, van Gisbergen keeps controversial win

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Penske protest unsuccessful, van Gisbergen keeps controversial win
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Nov 4, 2018, 2:33 AM

DJR Team Penske's bid to have Shane van Gisbergen stripped of his controversial Pukekohe race win has failed.

Stewards met at the New Zealand circuit this morning for a protest hearing over a controversial wheel-spinning investigation which was decided in favour of van Gisbergen and Triple Eight late last night.

The hearing didn't yield a better result for Scott McLaughlin's DJR Team Penske squad, though, stewards sticking with their original decision not to penalise van Gisbergen.

The outcome of the protest hearing means the pair head into today's second Pukekohe race split by just two points. Had the protest been successful, McLaughlin would have had a 95-point lead with three races to go.

"We agree with the DRD’s submission that he and the stewards enjoy a discretion to not impose a penalty in appropriate circumstances notwithstanding that a breach of a Rule is established," read the stewards report.

"So much is clear from Rule B7 in the case of the Stewards and, in the case of the DRD, Rule B2.1.1. So much is also clear from the terms of Articles 11.9 and 12 of the International Sporting Code.

"We find that the DRD has a discretion not to refer a breach of Rule D11.8.8 to the Stewards in the circumstances of this case and in the general circumstances he outlined. We have no reason to consider that this exercise of discretion miscarried in this case. Indeed, had the incident been referred to us, we would not have imposed a penalty consistent with the policy which has been applied this championship season."

The controversy started during yesterday's thrilling battle between the title contenders, van Gisbergen's win left subject to a post-race investigation for spinning wheels during his second stop.

While immediately cleared for an initial movement when engaging first gear, allowed by the regulations, a secondary movement as the car came off the jacks led to an inquiry that went well into the night.

The stewards ultimately made a shock decision to let van Gisbergen keep his win, citing a lack evidence that the wheels completed a full rotation.

DJR Team Penske immediately protested the decision.

"Consistent with previous determinations of the DRD when investigation 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," read the original report.

"The DRD determined that the matter did not warrant referral to the stewards because in his observation the rear wheels of car #97 did not complete in excess of one full revolution."

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No legal action from DJR Team Penske after failed protest

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