WAU cited kerb hit as cause of technical breach

Chaz Mostert

Walkinshaw Andretti United unsuccessfully tried to defend a technical breach by arguing that Chaz Mostert’s car was outside of regulations in qualifying due to a kerb impact.

Mostert finished third in Race 25 but had to come all the way from 26th on the grid after the second position which he originally earned in qualifying was wiped due to the disqualification of Car #25 from the session.

Stewards had decided that the Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore was in violation of the Repco Supercars Championship’s technical regulations by way of its front guards being too wide.

WAU’s brief statement upon the announcement of the penalty in the lead-up to Race 25 referred to “damage to front bodywork”, and team principal Bruce Stewart explained post-race that the car had bodywork mounts broken due to the hit with the kerb.

That there was an impact was accepted by stewards, although they did not deem damage arising from it as a valid defence or otherwise mitigating factor.

Explained Stewart to Speedcafe.com, “I won’t discuss the penalty to Chaz but I will say that obviously we had a significant bump in the second quali and that was, in our team’s opinion, the reason, because it broke the mounts to the guard.

“But the decision and everything like that, it’s all happened and I’m not going to comment any further.”

According to the stewards summary released post-race, Supercars head of motorsport Adrian Burgess had stated that if the impact had indeed caused the damage, then the set-up of the car was a “contributing factor”.

In the eyes of stewards, such an occurrence did not constitute exceptional circumstances which would clear WAU of wrongdoing.

“Following a post-session Hearing into a charge against WAU Racing Pty Ltd that Car 25, Chas [sic] Mostert, was in breach of Rule C2.1.1 (A Car must comply with the Design, relevant VSD, ESD, and the Rules) because the width of the front guards was found by Supercars Technical at post-session scrutineering not to comply with the VSD for a Holden Commodore VB [sic],” read the stewards summary.

“The Stewards summonsed the Competitor to a Hearing and heard from the Competitor, its Driver and the HOM [head of motorsport].

“The Competitor gave evidence (confirmed by the Driver and on-board vision) that the Car hit the kerb at Turn 10 and this caused the damage to the Car and resulted in the non-compliance.

“The HOM replied that if the damage was caused by hitting the kerb, then the setup for the Car was a contributing factor.

“The Stewards decided that they were not satisfied that the striking of the kerb (if it did create the damage) amounts to exceptional circumstances that would exculpate the breach nor amount to a mitigating factor justifying some other penalty other than the imposition of the usual penalty, namely Disqualification for a technical breach (which is also the Recommended Minimum Penalty).”

There is no update on another potential breach involving Car #25, that being a parc ferme matter which was referred to on the timing screen during the first few minutes of Qualifying for Race 25.

In other stewards decisions, three $250 fines were issued for cars failing to maintain minimum rear brake pressure for the brake lock (line locker) mechanism during pit stops.

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s #88 entry, driven by Jamie Whincup, incurred one in each of Race 24 and Race 25, and Matt Stone Racing’s #35 entry, piloted by Zane Goddard, in the latter of those.

All other penalties and determinations were made during Race 25 or the red flag period.

The clash between Brodie Kostecki and James Courtney which triggered the first Safety Car was investigated but not referred to stewards as no driver was wholly or predominately to blame, in the eyes of the deputy race director.

Shane van Gisbergen was issued a drive-through for an unsafe release and Bryce Fullwood one for a false start, while Kurt Kostecki had to serve a time penalty for tagging Macauley Jones.

Van Gisbergen had also been handed a drive-through for passing Anton De Pasquale before the control line at a restart, but that was withdrawn when officials decided that the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver had eased off the throttle on the run down the main straight.

The stewards summary makes no mention of any investigation of De Pasquale over that incident, despite suggestions he might have had a case to answer given the reason for the reversal of the Car #97 penalty.

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