Decision reached on Pukekohe garage incident

20 Sep 2022
Stewards explain decision to reprimand team boss
3 mins by James Pavey
Heated words between Brown and Winterbottom

Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan has been reprimanded by stewards over the post-race garage incident at Pukekohe.

Ryan, Will Brown and Mark Winterbottom were captured on the broadcast in a heated discussion after Race 28.

It came after Winterbottom and Brown clashed on the opening lap of the race.

Brown fired into the pit entry wall, with the impact recorded at 56g. He was ruled out of the later Race 29.

Winterbottom headed into the Erebus garage after the race, having been penalised over the incident.

Winterbottom was unaware of a request to not enter the Erebus garage, and proceeded to enter to talk to Brown.

Ryan asked Winterbottom to leave, before twice making contact with the Team 18 driver.

It was revealed last week that the incident was being investigated by Motorsport Australia stewards.

Onboard: Brown crashes after Winterbottom contact

The findings were released on Tuesday, with Ryan handed a reprimand.


The stewards acknowledged that the altercation occurred in an "emotionally charged context".

It also states that Winterbottom "did not feel threatened or intimidated during the incident".

However, the stewards were satisfied that a breach of Rule B6.5.1 was occasioned by the second push.

Ryan acknowledged that he made an "error of judgment" and that physical contact with Winterbottom was unnecessary.

The report reads: "A verbal altercation occurred within the Erebus garage between the Drivers of Cars 18 and 9 and the Authorised Representative of Erebus regarding the first Lap incident and its consequences. A media camera operator was in attendance in the garage at the time and filmed the altercation. The footage depicts physical contact between the Authorised Representative of Erebus and the Driver of Car 18.

"The first contact involved the Authorised Representative using the back of his hand to touch the Driver’s left arm to direct the Driver towards the door of the garage at the same time as asking the Driver to leave the garage. There was no force behind the push.

"The second contact occurred a short time later and involved the Authorised Representative pushing the Driver’s upper arm using the open face of his hand, again at the same time as asking the Driver to leave, the Driver having not left after the first contact. The second contact was evidently more forceful that the first because it pushed the Driver of Car 18 off balance, albeit slightly.

"Rule B6.5.1 provides that 'a person must not intentionally make physical contact, which includes any type of assault with another person, except in self-defence.' A literal construction of that Rule would deem any harmless and not unwanted physical contact a breach. In our minds, a breach of the Rule cannot be established unless the contact was at the very least unwanted and beyond the bounds of social norms. The first contact was little more than a touch and was merely a non-aggressive means of conveying to the Driver of Car 18 that he was not wanted in the garage at that time. The second contact, however, involving more force, was unwarranted and went beyond the bounds of social norms even though it was not threatening and caused no harm to the Driver."

Winterbottom and Brown will test at Winton Motor Raceway on September 28 ahead of Bathurst.

Tickets for the Repco Bathurst 1000 are available on Supercars.com and Ticketek.

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