Protest hearing concluded, teams await outcome

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 04/11/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

An outcome of a protest that will decide the winner of Saturday’s Pukekohe opener is expected on Sunday afternoon following the conclusion of a hearing.

Shane van Gisbergen defeated title rival Scott McLaughlin on the track in the 200km contest, but was the subject of a post-race investigation for an alleged pitlane wheelspin breach.

A Saturday evening investigation by Deputy Race Director Michael Masi cleared van Gisbergen of wrongdoing, based on the rear wheels not having made a complete revolution.

In his findings, Masi explained the ruling as “consistent with previous determinations of the DRD”.

However, DJR Team Penske immediately protested the outcome, triggering a Sunday-morning hearing in which both teams argued their cases.

With deliberations in progress, officials declared that an outcome will not be finalised until later in the day.

The decision will have a major bearing on the championship, with van Gisbergen having closed to within two points of McLaughlin with the Saturday win.

“Everyone had their say and now it's up to the stewards,” said Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton after exiting the hearing.

“We think there's been consistency with how the Deputy Race Director's made his decisions.

“There's clear precedent set at Bathurst this year, unfortunately for the car both precedents happened on Car 9.

“An early one that was a breach but no penalty required, the same as Shane's, and they also had one that did require a penalty.

“All we ask for, everyone up and down pitlane, is consistency and I believe there has been consistency in these decisions.”

DJRTP manager Ben Croke, however, declared his squad has a strong case against the ruling.

“We've put our case forward, the stewards have adjourned the hearing and they're going to come back to us with a result later on,” he said.

Asked what he’s expecting, he added: “We'll wait and see.

“We presented a pretty good case, they heard determinations from Michael Masi, DRD, and they'll make a decision in due course.”

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