One week on from the controversial Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, governing body the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport has confirmed Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat will keep their historic victory.
However, the sister car of Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto has been relegated from sixth to last, DJR Team Penske has been docked 300 championship points, and the Ford squad has been fined $250,000, of which $100,000 is suspended.
The results had remained provisional all week following an investigation and subsequent charge against DJR Team Penske, which instructed Coulthard to slow down during a late-race Safety Car period.
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However, the verdict was delivered on Sunday, with the team dropping a total of 420 points due to Coulthard’s post-race penalty.
Coulthard has dropped from third to fourth in the standings, with DJR Team Penske’s teams’ championship lead over the Red Bull Holden Racing Team cut to 423 points.
During the race, Coulthard was slapped with a pit-lane drive-through penalty for a breach of Safety Car procedure following the Lap 134 drama.
The #12 crossed the line sixth after starting 16th, with the #17 claiming the first Bathurst win for Dick Johnson since 1994, and the first for Roger Penske.
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However, an inquiry was triggered — according to the post-event stewards summary — after suspicion arose that the team may have “issued an instruction to the Driver of Car #12 to slow and create an unwarranted large gap between Cars #17 and Car #12 for tactical reasons”.
An in-race interview by team managing director Ryan Story and the “extraordinary increase” in the gap between #17 and #12 during the Safety Car deployment were cited by stewards as to why concerns were held “that Rule D24.1 may have been breached”.
The charge was laid against the team after a two-hour hearing at the circuit after the race, and the team was given the chance to build a defence prior to Saturday’s decisive second hearing.
“The penalty issued today regarding the breach of the ‘FIA International Sporting Code Appendix B’ reflects the serious nature of the incident that took place at the Supercheap Bathurst 1000,” CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca said.
“It is also important to note that the money received from the fine will go directly into the Supercars’ Fines Fund, which is used exclusively for safety research and programs, as well safety related infrastructure, such as the development of in car warning systems or the Hawkeye system, which has been successfully implemented in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship recently.
“I would also like to acknowledge DJR Team Penske’s co-operation with all requests from our stewards throughout this process.”
In response, the team said in a statement: “After reviewing data from Car #12 following the Bathurst 1000 with the Stewards and Deputy Race Director, DJR Team Penske accepts the penalties issued related to the FIA International Sporting Code. The team will be making no further comment at this time.”