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Tommi Makinen excluded from Rally Australia

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Tommi Makinen excluded from Rally Australia
Nov 5, 2002, 9:41 PM

Subaru's Tommi Makinen was excluded from the Rally Australia by the FIA stewards when it was found that his Impreza was eight kilos underweight. The team will not appeal the decision. The four-time world rally champion finished fourth overall ...

Subaru's Tommi Makinen was excluded from the Rally Australia by the FIA stewards when it was found that his Impreza was eight kilos underweight. The team will not appeal the decision.

The four-time world rally champion finished fourth overall before being informed of the judgment at the end of the final stage. The FIA scrutineers' weighed each car several times after each stage and found a major change in the weight of Makinen's car.

Tommi Makinen.
Photo by Subaru World Rally Team.

"I don't understand what happened," said Makinen. "It's a great shame that we've come so far on the event only to finish it like this. There was certainly nothing deliberate involved and we'll have a good look into the incident to find out what happened. That's just the way it goes sometimes and you have to accept it."

The one difference between the weight was the use of the spare tire due to a puncture during stage 23. The wheel weighs less than 20kgs.

Subaru team boss, David Lapworth commented, ""As far as the exclusion is concerned, the judgment came as a big disappointment to Tommi and the team. Scrutineers weighed each car several times today and there seems to be a big variation between the figures they recorded for Tommi's car.

"The rules in this area are very clear, and we know that the cars are likely to be weighed at the end of every stage, so we clearly believed that the car was at its correct weight throughout the event. We will be making our own investigation into this situation. However, in the interests of the sport, we have decided to accept the judgment and will not appeal the stewards' decision."

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Series WRC
Drivers Tommi Makinen