Hearing to determine possible DJRTP team orders breach

Fabian Coulthard

Shell V-Power Racing will face a hearing next week to determine if it breached team orders regulations during the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

As revealed by Speedcafe.com, the Ford team was involved in a further post-race investigation into the actions of its driver Fabian Coulthard, who was instructed by the squad to dramatically slow during a Safety Car period on lap 135.

It has now been confirmed that the team has been charged with a breach of Rule D24 of the Supercars Operations Manual regarding team orders.

Stewards initially handed car #12, that had held third spot at the time the Safety Car was called, a drive-through penalty for breaching Safety Car procedure by backing up the pack significantly. 

It allowed the lead two of Jamie Whincup and eventual race winner Scott McLaughlin, in the sister #17 Shell V-Power Racing Mustang, to scamper away before electing to dive into the pits.

As a result, the move helped Coulthard avoid double stacking in the pit lane.

The team has since claimed that Coulthard was required to slow due to an overheating engine.

Supercars’ official website has confirmed the team will face a hearing prior to the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 (October 25-27) to determine if the team breached the rules.

It is unclear what sanctions the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport could impose on the team if found guilty of a rule breach.

The rule under which the team has been charged states:

D24.1 Team Orders
24.1.1 Means an instruction to a Driver or Team member, either verbal or otherwise the effect of which may interfere with a race result.
24.1.2 It is not permitted for any sponsor, supplier, entity or related entity, including an Automobile manufacturer, importer or their representative to impose or seek to impose Team orders, on any Team.

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