Saturday hearing for DJRTP team orders charge

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 18/10/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

The outcome of the team orders charge against DJR Team Penske following the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be known this weekend.

CAMS has confirmed via a statement that a stewards hearing will take place tomorrow (Saturday, October 19) with the outcome to be decided and made public the following day.

“CAMS can today advise the Stewards Hearing involving Racing Team (Aust) Pty Ltd (DJR Team Penske) regarding the alleged breach of Rule D24.1 at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will now be held on Saturday, 19 October,” read the statement.

“The outcome and the publication of the decision will occur on Sunday, 20 October, with the stewards summary to be made available on the CAMS website as soon as it is available.”

The hearing follows a post-race inquiry into Fabian Coulthard’s Safety Car ‘go-slow’ on Sunday which resulted in the team being charged with breaching Rule D24.1.

The rule, prohibiting the use of team orders, is defined as follows.

D24.1 Team Orders

24.1.1 Means an instruction to a Driver or Team member, either verbal or otherwise the effect of which may interfere with a race result.

24.1.2 It is not permitted for any sponsor, supplier, entity or related entity, including an Automobile manufacturer, importer or their representative to impose or seek to impose Team orders, on any Team.

According to the post-event stewards summary, the inquiry was launched amid concern that the team “issued an instruction to the Driver of Car #12 to slow and create an unwarranted large gap between Cars #17 and Car #12 for tactical reasons”.

Stewards noted a television interview by DJRTP managing director Ryan Story and the “extraordinary increase in the gap between Cars #17 and #12 during the SC deployment caused the Stewards to hold concerns that Rule D24.1 may have been breached”.

The inquiry included interviews with Story, Coulthard and engineer Mark Fenning, as well as Hawk Eye footage and in-car footage, data and a request for radio communications from car #12.

Deputy Race Director David Stuart resolved to lay the team orders charge, to which Story sought time to gather and present defence evidence.

That left the race results provisional until the hearing; the timing of which had initially only been confirmed as “prior to the commencement of track activities at the forthcoming Gold Coast 600”.

DJR Team Penske duo Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat are the provisional winners of Sunday’s race, with Coulthard and his co-driver Tony D’Alberto sixth.

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