Stewards explain why SVG escaped penalty over double stack

The double stacking. Picture: Fox Sports

Shane van Gisbergen was not penalised for a double stack which delayed Anton De Pasquale because there was simply nowhere else for him to go, according to stewards.

Car #1 came under investigation following its second visit to pit lane in Race 34 of the Supercars Championship at the Valo Adelaide 500, when van Gisbergen followed Red Bull Ampol Racing team-mate Broc Feeney into pit lane at just one position behind during the second Safety Car period.

The 2022 champion chose to park behind the #88 ZB Commodore as Feeney took service, meaning he was mere metres forward of the #11 Mustang of De Pasquale as the Shell V-Power Racing Team crew went to work.

It appeared that the latter was thus delayed exiting the Dick Johnson Racing box given Car #11 was forced to yield to the #25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore of Chaz Mostert as it merged back into the fast lane, representing a change of position.

DJR Team Principal Ben Croke said on broadcast during the Safety Car period, “I think our neighbours did us over there.

“Anton had to go, and lift, and try and get out of it, so that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Rule B7.2 of the Supercars Operations Manual stipulates that “A Car entering its Pit Bay must do so without impeding any other Car in Pit Lane,” which is presumably what Car #1 was investigated in relation to.

However, stewards decided that van Gisbergen, who in fact crept forward as Feeney exited his box just after De Pasquale had started to leave his, had done nothing wrong.

Ironically, it may have been DJR which made the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver’s task more difficult, given how it had laid out the tyres and equipment for its own incoming car (noting that mentions below of ‘Car 17’, which did not stop during the Safety Car period in question, appear to be erroneous references to Car #11).

“A report from Pit Lane officials that Car 1, Shane van Gisbergen, may have impeded Car 17 from exiting its Pit Bay,” read the stewards report.

“Broadcast footage revealed that Car 1 was right behind Car 88 which was in its Pit Bay waiting for Car 88 to leave.

“There was no other position Car 1 could have occupied while it was waiting which would not have impeded other Cars.

“The wheels and equipment for Car 17 were nearly out to the edge of the fast lane so Car 1 could not have stopped adjacent to Car 17 without baulking the fast lane.

“In the circumstances, no breach was observed.”

De Pasquale recounted post-race, “There was a bit going on.

“Hard to get out of there, obviously, with the two cars in front of us, and then Chaz next to me; had a bit going on.

“So, I’m not sure how we didn’t touch it at some point, but we made our way through it.

“I mean, ideally [I] would have popped out in front, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Van Gisbergen would later feel the wrath of stewards, however, for what was adjudicated as a breach of procedure at the end of the same Safety Car period.

‘SVG’ was deemed to have overlapped Lee Holdsworth too early, a decision which he felt was a harsh call.

The ensuing drive-through penalty dropped him from third to outside the top 10, after which he got back to seventh at the chequered flag.

Earlier in the day, van Gisbergen was fined but not otherwise penalised for speeding in pit lane at the end of Qualifying for Race 34.

The official Stewards Decision document for that incident noted that “the Incident occurred at the end of the Session, after the Chequered Flag,” and hence, “No sporting advantage was possible.”

It was academic so far as the championship battle was concerned, with van Gisbergen already wrapping up the drivers’ title and Triple Eight the teams’ crown back at the Gold Coast 500.

The Banyo squad still had reason to smile in Adelaide, though, given Broc Feeney broke through for his first win in the championship in Race 34.

Anton De Pasquale rejoins alongside Chaz Mostert before dropping behind. Picture: Fox Sports

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