Jacobson avoids penalty after post-race investigation

Garry Jacobson. Picture: Ross Gibb

Following a lengthy investigation, PremiAir Racing’s Garry Jacobson has been cleared of an alleged infringement following Race 16 at Hidden Valley Raceway.

The Subway-backed driver was investigated for a supposed pit lane misdemeanour, a decision only coming prior to the commencement of Sunday morning’s qualifying sessions.

At the time, a wheel for the #76 Holden ZB Commodore was observed to be unattended in the working lane during and after the pit stop.

Under Rule, D11.7.2, during any pit stop, “all equipment and parts must always be under the complete control of the Designated Pit Crew.”

In the end, no breach was established.  The stewards’ report read in part, “In preparation for Car 76’s CPS in Race 16, the Team had placed 3 wheels with new Control Tyres on the apron in the working lane adjacent to Car 76’s Pit Bay intending to change the two right side tyres and the rear left.

“Car 76 entered Pit Lane for its CPS one Lap earlier than was planned by the Team because the Driver had reported a suspected delaminating tyre. Because the Car entered Pit Lane earlier than expected, the Team elected not change the rear left tyre.

“The wheel intended for the rear left had been positioned vertically with chocks holding it in position and a rattle gun lying next to it. It remained in that position for a brief period after Car 76 left its Pit Bay.

“There was no Team member in the immediate vicinity of the wheel until it was removed. The Deputy Race Director alleged that the wheel was not under the complete control of the Team.

“The Authorised Representative denied the charge and maintained that since the number of personnel has been reduced in the Category, unattended wheels may be in position on the opposite side of the Car to the wheels being replaced during a Pit Stop but, provided they are lying on the ground or chocked if vertical, they are nonetheless under the control of the Team in readiness for a tyre change.

“Rule D11.7.5 requires Teams to ensure that any equipment etc is removed to behind the Prescribed Line within one Lap of the completion of any Pit Stop. There was no evidence, and the DRD did not allege, that the wheel in question had not been removed behind the Prescribed Line within one Lap of the completion of Car 76’s Pit Stop.”

Jacobson and PremiAir Racing team-mate Chris Pither finished Race 16 in 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Jacobson will start Sunday’s races from 22nd and 26th while Pither will head off from 24th and 21st.

Race 17, the penultimate outing at the Darwin Triple Crown, gets underway at 11:55 local time/12:25 AEST.

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