Triple Eight to appeal Race 1 disqualification
Sunday 12th March, 2023 - 9:50am
Triple Eight Race Engineering will appeal the disqualification of both of its cars from Race 1 at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.
Shane van Gisbergen came to dominate the first race of the Gen3 Supercars era at the Newcastle East Street Circuit while his team-mate Broc Feeney finished 14 seconds in arrears in second place.
However, Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters is provisionally the official race winner after both Cars #97 and #88 were disqualified for a technical breach pertaining to installation of driver cooling systems.
Triple Eight will appeal the stewards decision, with its Team Manager Mark Dutton seeming to reason that every car in the field is in fact illegal, due to the rushed nature of the Gen3 rollout.
Dutton confirmed, “We’ve appealed it, obviously,” and claims his understanding was that Supercars Head of Motorsport (HoM) Adrian Burgess had given verbal approval of the Triple Eight change, but that confirmation was not sought in writing.
He said on the television broadcast shortly after the decision was announced, “So if we if we take a second to look at the process, so when we designed that part of the car, and the intention of the rule initially was for the car to have everything in the driver’s passenger seat.
“When I say everything, I say driver cooling. So, driver cooling can be made up of a cool suit, and/or a helmet air. So, you can run one of each or both combined.
“So, if you look at every single car up and down pit lane, not one single one of them matches the rulebook. And that’s not because anyone’s cheating, the rulebook has evolved because it had to come out before the cars have finished being built.
“So, in the process, there’s a lot of changes, and we clarified multiple things this weekend.
“So, one of the first things we clarified was where rules contradict things that have been agreed this weekend at the event, if they contradict Div C [Technical] of the handbook, what is the overruling? What is the Bible?
“So, it was clearly told to us that what applies is what was discussed this weekend.
“So, at the start of this weekend before the cars were on track, we rolled out of the truck with these helmet air cooling – not additional, you’re allowed to have helmet air cooling – but it was in a different location then than what the Div C said.
“Now, Div C, which is the technical section of the rulebook, referred to a specification document which also hasn’t been issued, so that if you try and follow the links to say, ‘the specification document says it should be in this volume’, that drawing hasn’t been submitted to teams, so we don’t actually have access to that.
“So, the rule has a link to something that doesn’t exist, so a little bit ambiguous.
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“But either way on Thursday, so set-up day, I grabbed the HoM went to the car and we went through the cooling of the car; different ducting locations, different changes to ducts, and at the time went through ‘okay, we put the we’ve put the helmet cooling air here’.
“Went through the reasons for it A) packaging, B) It’s not above the exhaust, etc. This was quite an in-depth conversation.
“At which point, Yep, everything was fine and was told us a good idea that’ll help Shane, it’ll not only cool his head but it’ll help him keep a cool head.
“Where my mistake was, was I didn’t follow that up with an email. Not that you have to, you don’t have to, you speak to the HoM, you go through that.
“Did I ask them say the words ‘Do I have approval for this?’ No, I didn’t. The fact that the HoM saw the box installed in the car, said it was a good idea, you can probably understand why I thought that was as good as approval.”
Dutton says Triple Eight is rushing through a change to the location of the system this morning.
“Not in that location; like, we’re trying to run it in the other location, so we’re feverishly welding up the car, things like that,” he said.
“Because now it’s been clarified that we don’t have approval to run there of course, we’re not going to be pig-headed and run it where we now know that they’re not happy for us to run it.”
READ MORE: Edwards: ‘Nothing grey’ about rule breached by Triple Eight
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