MSR disgruntled with Kostecki disqualification

Jake Kostecki

Matt Stone Racing’s eponymous team boss has vented his frustration at a decision to disqualify Jake Kostecki from Race 16 of the Repco Supercars Championship today.

During the final 88-lapper of the NTI Townsville 500, a post-race investigation was announced into the #34 Holden ZB Commodore for a breach of minimum tyre pressure rules.

That resulted in Kostecki being disqualified, having finished 20th.

The stewards report read, “After the Race, the Stewards conducted a hearing as to the penalty to be applied to Car 34, Jake Kostecki, for a breach of Rule D17.1.17 (the minimum permitted pressure of a Control Tyre when fitted to a Car is 17psi which must be achieved at any time the Car is on the Circuit during any Session).

“The Team (Matt Stone Racing) acknowledged to the Stewards that the Rule was breached in relation to Car 34 during the reconnaissance lap to the Grid, while on the Grid and at the start of the formation lap.

“The Team sought to have a penalty other than disqualification (which is the Commission’s Recommended Minimum Penalty) applied.

“After hearing the Team and the DRD on the matter, the Stewards decided that the appropriate penalty to be applied is the Recommended Minimum Penalty and disqualified Car 34, Jake Kostecki, from Race 16.”

Team boss Matt Stone described the decision to disqualify Kostecki as a double standard, noting that Brad Jones Racing driver Nick Percat escaped the same punishment a round prior.

A similar incident occurred at the Darwin Triple Crown where two of Percat’s tyres dropped below the minimum allowed pressure pre-race, though the team was able to change tyres before the start.

After a lengthy process, Percat was allowed to keep his podium, with BJR instead losing all 86 teams’ championship points it had gained from Car #8’s result.

However, given how close to the start of the race the pressure drop occurred for Kostecki, Matt Stone Racing wasn’t able to effect a tyre change.

“From our point of view, the scenario was the same in the sense that there was an error in our team and our margins were a little bit too close [and] we realised on the grid,” Matt Stone told Speedcafe.com.

“However, you could argue that ours was a smaller error because it was only one tyre and it didn’t actually dip below the margin until about 40 seconds before the start of the formation lap, whereas BJR had two tyres and it was down from 10 or so minutes prior.

“As the rules are written, we breached the same rule and the same scenario – and we actually did less of a breach in my opinion but we’re getting penalised much harder.

Speedcafe.com understands the key reason behind the difference in the two penalties was due to Kostecki physically starting the race on a tyre below 17psi. Percat, by contrast, did not have an arguable competitive advantage, given a tyre change ensured he started on tyre with legal pressures.

Matt Stone

Stone, nonetheless, cut a bemused figure.

“Disqualification is the standard recommended penalty for that breach,” said Stone.

“So in that sense, we have got no choice but to accept it. What I struggle to accept is the precedent was set that for some other teams in pit lane the rules are bent, whereas for us, they are enforced to the letter of the law.

“So for me, the same rule broken in the same scenario with a different outcome in consecutive races, so to me that’s very disappointing. Not so much in our outcome, but in the fact that it doesn’t replicate the precedent that has been set.

“What was explained to me is that because BJR changed the tyres on the grid, under the permission of the HoM (head of motorsport, Adrian Burgess), they didn’t have tyre pressures below 17 [psi] at the start of the formation lap.

“However, that is still a breach of the same rule, and by Turn 3 on the formation lap, our tyres were not illegal either. So to me, yes we broke the rule and yes, we deserve the penalty, but they broke the same rule and deserve the same penalty.

“The fact that they broke it more severely and were able to talk their way into a mitigated penalty is not fair in my eyes.”

It adds salt to the wounds of a team which has already been hit by a decision which didn’t go its way.

The team tendered for a shelved Racing Entitlements Contract to expand to three cars for 2022, which it was not allotted.

Tickford Racing was granted the opportunity to purchase one of the shelved RECs, while the other was left untouched.

“What I don’t understand is without even having to go to appeal, a different team was able to get the outcome that they probably told them they wanted,” Stone continued.

“To me it was a miscarriage of justice. I have no problem with the execution of the penalty to BJR, provided that that precedent stands for all teams.”

Results: Race 16, NTI Townsville 500 Updated

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:51:37.2286
2 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:51:40.1545
3 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:00.5631
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:17.2629
5 9 Erebus Pedders Racing William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:52:23.8173
6 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:27.6369
7 14 Pizza Hut Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:52:30.6432
8 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:30.9874
9 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:52:39.3834
10 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:45.8080
11 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:50.8612
12 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:52.1933
13 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:37.3561
14 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:56.7495
15 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:59.6433
16 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:59.8260
17 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:52:01.6619
18 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:52:10.8075
19 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:52:14.0643
20 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 85 1:52:21.5692
21 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 84 1:51:49.7697
22 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 74 1:51:54.3714
NC 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 2 2:44.0877
DSQ 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB    

Drivers’ championship Updated

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1661
2 Jamie Whincup 1416
3 Will Davison 1291
4 Chaz Mostert 1278
5 Cameron Waters 1256
6 Anton De Pasquale 1020
7 Mark Winterbottom 996
8 Nick Percat 992
9 James Courtney 912
10 William Brown 903
11 Brodie Kostecki 863
12 Andre Heimgartner 860
13 Bryce Fullwood 801
14 David Reynolds 794
15 Jack Le Brocq 772
16 Scott Pye 768
17 Tim Slade 754
18 Todd Hazelwood 716
19 Zane Goddard 616
20 Jake Kostecki 596
21 Macauley Jones 498
22 Jack Smith 490
23 Fabian Coulthard 458
24 Garry Jacobson 446
25 Thomas Randle 260
26 Kurt Kostecki 222

Teams’ championship Updated

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97   Triple Eight Race Engineering 3077
2 11 17 (100) Dick Johnson Racing 2311
3 6 44   Tickford Racing 2168
4 2 25   Walkinshaw Andretti United 2079
5 9 99   Erebus Motorsport 1766
6 18 20   Team 18 1739
7 7 26   Kelly Grove Racing 1624
8 8 14   Brad Jones Racing 1622
9 34 35   Matt Stone Racing 1212
10 4 96   Brad Jones Racing 988
11 19 22   Team Sydney 904
12 5     Tickford Racing 772
13 3     Blanchard Racing Team 754
14 55     Tickford Racing 260
15 27     Walkinshaw Andretti United 222

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