Team 18 fined, docked teams’ points

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 19/07/2020
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Team 18 has been fined $1,500 and docked 30 teams’ championship points after a bungled pitstop for Mark Winterbottom in the Sydney finale.

The IRWIN Racing Commodore, officially entered under the Chasports Racing moniker, was seen leaving its pit bay following its lap 10 pitstop with the air spike hose still attached.

WATCH: PITLANE DRAMA FOR TEAM 18 AND WINTERBOTTOM

Television footage showed the hose breaking at its coupling as the car pulled away, leaving the team’s mechanics scrambling to control the high-pressure line.

Officials undertook a post-race investigation in which they issued a team penalty, absolving driver Winterbottom of any blame.

Read the stewards summary: “A post-Race investigation was conducted into an Incident which had occurred during Car #18’s Pit stop when the air spike hose remained connected to the Car after Car #18 had been dropped and released from its Pit Bay.

“The air spike attendant had attempted unsuccessfully to free the air spike after Car #18 had driven away with the result that the air hose was torn away.

“Rule D11.7.3 mandates that a Car must be completely free from all hoses and equipment before leaving its Pit Bay. The Team, Chasports Racing, admitted to a breach of that Rule.

“The Stewards were satisfied that the Driver of Car #18, Mark Winterbottom, was entitled to assume that the Car was free of all equipment because the Car could not have dropped unless the air spike had been pulled.

“The Stewards imposed a Penalty of the Loss of 30 Teams’ Championship Points on Chasports Racing and a Fine in the sum of $1,500, of which $750 is suspended until 31 December 2020.”

Having continued unaffected by the incident, Winterbottom went on to finish sixth, having saved his two sets of soft tyres for the race.

Team 18 was also one of three teams fined for a breach of the FIA’s International Sporting Code during the track walk session on Friday.

The stewards summary detailed: “The Stewards imposed Fines on each of Chasports Racing, Erebus Motorsport and Triple Eight Race Engineering in the sum of $1,000 (of which $500 is suspended until 30 June 2021) for breaches of Article 12.1.1.h of the FIA International Sporting Code after receipt of a report that each Team had Drivers circulating the race track in motor vehicles during the Track Walk session on Friday 17 July.

“The Teams had not sought nor been granted permission to use motor vehicles on the circuit during the Track Walk.

“Albeit that circuit lighting was activated at the time, there were a number of Drivers and Team personnel of other Teams walking the track and Event operational staff were on the circuit undertaking works.

“Notwithstanding that none of the vehicles concerned were reported to be travelling at high speed, the Stewards considered the conduct of the Teams to represent an unsafe act resulting in an unsafe situation.

“Each Team admitted to the breach.”

A brush between Scott McLaughlin and Lee Holdsworth in the final race was the only on-track incident reviewed across the weekend, with officials declaring no action necessary.

Holdsworth temporarily went onto the grass at the exit of Turn 8 on lap 23 after McLaughlin made light contact with the Truck Assist Mustang’s rear bumper.

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