Consistently inconsistent!

Monday 26th October, 2009 - 1:44pm


Rick Kelly was penalised for leaking fuel in Race 20, Part A. But did the penalty fit the crime?

Rick Kelly was penalised for leaking fuel in Race 20, Part A. But did the penalty fit the crime?

It’s a worn out old line – consistency wins championships.

But virtually all of the time it’s used in relation to the drivers behind the wheel rather than any other area.

Until yesterday.

Pit lane grumbles are now much more than that – there is a sweeping wave saying that there is simply no consistency in the calls on various on-track matters from Race Control in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

And some of the calls on the weekend at the Nikon SuperGP gave added much more fuel to the fire.

Look, it’s a tough gig and no matter who is in the seat, they will never keep 100 percent of the pit lane happy 100 percent of the time.

But everyone simply wants and needs a consistent call on matters.

As an AFL fan, even if I don’t like the decision or the particular rule, as long as it is applied on a consistent basis I can deal with it and everyone knows where the goal posts are and plays and follows accordingly.

But if you were at home watching Seven’s coverage of the weekend’s races – particular Sunday’s – and have been watching other events during the 2009 season, you’d be scratching your head as much as I and many others were scratching theirs.

So Rick Kelly has a small fuel leak which quickly disappears as the fuel load in the rear of the Jack Daniel’s Commodore burns off.

Bang. Black flag to pit lane.

OK, a shame for Ricko and tough given it cleared and no longer caused an issue. But fluid on the race track is fluid on the race track. Once a flag is given it won’t be withdrawn.

So rewind to Queensland Raceway. Fabian Coulthard’s #111 Falcon is spewing decent amounts of water from its water braking system for the majority of a race.

Other cars on Saturday were pumping oil all over the place with rear bumpers smeared in the stuff – an easy give away sign.

Nothing. Huh?

Fluid on the circuit is fluid on the circuit. Whether it’s fuel, water, oil, power steering coolant or Gatorade from the driver’s drink bottle, it’s fluid on the circuit.

No wonder nobody knows where the goal posts are and which end to kick to!

And we have the farcical arrangement of the ‘reset’ of the grid at the beginning of Part B on Sunday.

Yes it’s not fair if drivers lose out in the shenanigans of a wild run through the first chicane and have been doing the right thing but lose spots.

But that’s life!

Not everything is fair, even and balanced. It’s a by-product of racing on this circuit.

For the casual viewer on Sunday, I have no doubt they simply would have laughed at what was unfolding and changed channel.

That’s a blow to us all.

It’s a bad look for our game and can’t happen again as we try and attract new followers.

And regardless of whether Craig Lowndes was in the right or wrong with his contact on Russell Ingall, he received a penalty from a lap of the race that effectively was wiped from the slate by the grid reset.

Try explaining how that all works to the people we are desperately trying to get aboard the good ship V8 Supercars …

But there is plenty of great stuff going on in the championship we can talk about.

The swings and roundabouts in the championship overall as Will Davison took further ground away from Jamie Whincup on the weekend helps shape us up for three further tight events.

But that’s something for another column in the near future …

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