BJR penalised, but Percat keeps Race 12 podium

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 20/06/2021
  • By James Pavey

Nick Percat will keep his Race 12 podium following a post-race investigation. 

The alleged breach was that the tyres on Percat’s car were registered under the minimum pressure of 17 psi.

The Brad Jones Racing driver crossed the line third behind winner Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters.

It marked Percat and BJR's first podiums of the 2021 season.

While Percat will keep his result, the team has been stripped of the points gained by the #8 R&J Batteries entry in the race.

WATCH: RACE 12 RECAP

"The DRD recommended to the Stewards a Penalty of the Loss of all Teams Championship Points for Car #8 in Race 12," the stewards report reads.

"The Team were prepared to accept that Penalty if the Stewards found the Rule to have breached (which we have).

"In our view, the DRD’s recommended Penalty is appropriate to the circumstances.

"It will serve as a discouragement to Teams against employing strategies to run so close to the edge of the Rules in the expectation that they will be immune from consequences if they get it wrong."

According to rule D17.1.17, the permitted pressure of a control tyre when fitted to a car is 17 psi, which must be achieved at any time that the car is on the circuit during any session.

When Percat passed the pit exit line to start the observation lap for Race 12, the pressures of all four tyres fitted to the car exceeded 17 psi, and were consistent with the pressures at that point in time with the other cars.

WATCH: JONES EXPLAINS TYRE DRAMAS

When Percat arrived on the grid, all four tyres exceeded 17 psi; it was revealed that the pressure increase achieved between the car leaving the pit exit line and stopping on the grid was "nominal" and less than the pressures of the other cars.

The team noticed that the pressures of the tyres on the right side of car, which were in the shade, had dropped to below 17 psi.

Telemetry confirmed that the front right tyre was 16.8 psi, and the pressure of the rear right tyre was 16.6 psi.

The team was granted permission to change the two right wheels on the car on the grid, but the tyres in question were removed.

Given the time constraints, the mechanics had overlooked bleeding excess air out of the replacement tyres, with the pressures significantly exceeding the pressures of the left side tyres.

During the race, the Supercars Technical Team found that no punctures or other faults were observed, which explained an unanticipated loss of pressure on the observation lap.

Rule D17.1.17 had been breached, but the breach was remedied before the start of the Race 12. It came after BJR had identified the non-compliance and received the approval to change the tyres on the grid.

While BJR wasn’t absolved of the breach, the team was given the benefit of the doubt whether the low pressures were "attributable to a fault".

According to the report, Percat wasn’t disqualified because Rule D17.1.17 is a Sporting Rule, unlike the Rules in Division C which are Technical Rules.

A breach of a Technical Rule must result in the disqualification of the car concerned. It was also confirmed that, because the car complied with the rules throughout the race, the stewards were satisfied that a disqualification would be disproportionate.

WATCH: HEATED MID-RACE DISCUSSION

However, had BJR not disclosed the non-compliance, and it was detected during the race, or had permission been refused to change the non-complying control tyres, Percat may have lost his podium.

Speaking after the race, Percat said losing the podium would have been a cruel outcome.

"We've been fast since we rolled out of the truck," he said.

"We've got a few little bits and pieces on the car to try and bridge the gap to Cam [Waters], Chaz [Mostert] and Shane [van Gisbergen]. And I think we've taken a step forward there.

"It would be a pretty s**t feeling to have it taken away. We gained zero advantage, we actually hurt ourselves with what happened."

ARMOR ALL Qualifying for Race 13 will commence at 9:45am AEST.

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