Dick Johnson Racing’s Scott Pye has been excluded from the results of five races this season due to a technical infringement.
Officials discovered on Thursday at Sydney Olympic Park that engine ballast seals had been removed from the #16 Ford without the required permission.
Pye’s results from the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 and Plus Fitness Phillip Island, both run since the last time the seals had been checked, have all been scrubbed as a consequence.
Engine ballast seals have been used by V8 Supercars since Barbagallo in May, where centre-of-gravity regulations were introduced.
The punishment drops Pye from 16th in the championship to 19th, losing positions to James Moffat, Tim Slade and Russell Ingall.
A DJR spokesman told Speedcafe.com that the infringement had occurred during the team’s preparations for the Sydney NRMA 500.
The squad ran three cars at the event, adding a wildcard for its 2015 driver Marcos Ambrose.
“It’s really clear what you can and can’t do in the rules and we’ve made a mistake during the busy preparation to get three cars ready to go to Homebush,” said the spokesman.
“The victim at the end of the day is Scotty Pye, we’ve really let him down on this one and it’s not good enough.
“We must do a better job. We’re better than this and we have apologised to him as a team.
“Unfortunately the punishment for a team offence here has an impact on the driver, but that’s how it is.”
The situation is another blow for Pye, who is set to be left out of a drive next season as the team scales back to a single car.