Wayne Gardner Questioned by Police in Japan

Australian motorcycling legend Wayne Gardner has been questioned by police in Motegi after an alleged road rage incident.

Gardner, who was crowned 500cc champion in 1987, is reported to have been involved in an incident with a Japanese businessman inside the Twin Ring Motegi circuit on Sunday morning, which involved the Tokyo resident’s car and Gardner’s bike.

A physical altercation followed, with some claims that Gardner grabbed the other man in a violent manner, although Gardner has since claimed he was just trying to get free of the other man’s grip.

Local police became involved, with Gardner arrested and taken to the Motegi Police Station for questioning.

Gardner was in Japan to watch 18-year-old son Remy compete in the Moto2 class. He finished 19th in a race won by Thomas Luthi.

Disqualified Drivers From The Late Model Dream Withdraw Lawsuit

A federal lawsuit filed against World Racing Group, Inc. (WRG) and subsidiary DIRTcar Racing, Eldora Speedway, Inc., and its owner Tony Stewart by five drivers and race teams disqualified following June’s Dirt Late Model Dream was dismissed today in U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of New York (NDNY).

The Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Mae A. D’Agostino signed the dismissal order in Albany, New York.

“With ticket renewals beginning today for our 2017 Major Event Calendar, we are pleased with the voluntary motion by the plaintiffs and today’s dismissal,” said general manager Roger Slack.  “We trust this marks the end of the matter and everyone can re-focus their energy on the drama which promises to unfold next season on the high-banks of Eldora.”

Plaintiffs Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Gregg Satterlee, Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Thornton, Jr., and team owners R&W Motorsports, LLC, W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc., Best Performance Motorsports and JR. Motorsports, LLC, filed a voluntary motion for dismissal on Monday.

The New York law firms of Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer, LLP and Ahmuty, Demers & McManus represented WRG, DIRTcar, Eldora and Stewart in NDNY.  Counsel from IceMiller, LLP (Indianapolis) and Apollo Sports & Entertainment Group Law (Charlotte) complemented the team.

McLaughlin penalised for re-enter

Scott McLaughlin has been slapped with a 25-point penalty for his rejoin after an incident with Jamie Whincup that affected the outcome of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

McLaughlin was on a different fuel strategy to Whincup and Garth Tander, but it was important for Whincup to get past the Volvo in case any late incidents meant it could get through to the end of the race on fuel.

Whincup dived on the Volvo at the last corner and tipped McLaughlin off the circuit. As Whincup waited to redress Tander got tangled in the incident, sustaining damage that meant he couldn’t finish the race.

McLaughlin ended 15th and was devastated with the result.

“I’m gutted,” he said.

“I’m more gutted for Garry than myself, I wanted to win it for Garry more than anyone and the team. It’s disappointing … a pretty bad day.”

While the Stewards Summary has not been released officially, McLaughlin confirmed he was punished for his re-enter, which contributed to the crash.

“I’ve just been given a 25-point penalty for my re-enter,” he said.

His take on the incident?

“It was pretty obvious. I blocked and did what I felt was legal. All I had to do was keep him behind me and I was trying to be aggressive with that as well.

“I knew Jamie was fast, he threw it down the inside, which he is well entitled to do, he said to me the move was on but it was on until we lost control so it’s racing in some ways, but just disappointed.”

The Red Bull driver did speak to McLaughlin post-race but did not go down to the Holden Racing Team garage.

“I was pretty angry when he spoke to me so I didn’t really speak back but he did come see me and said sorry, and the move was on.

“It’s all well and good that he thinks the move was on but a move’s on when you’re not locked up and actually make the pass and go side by side, as he knows.”

The two drivers have often raced closely on-track and McLaughlin spoke respectfully about his competitor.

“I’ve had some great battles with Jamie over the years and I don’t think that’s going to change. I’ve got a ton of respect for the guy, just unfortunately these things happen.”

McLaughlin wasn’t sure of the damage to his car, but it was able to finish the race.

“I don’t know, I’ve hardly seen it, I got out of the car and just left. It was pretty banged up and bruised.”

Appeal Dismissed, Tekno Win Bathurst 1000

The Supercars National Court of Appeal has dismissed the Appeal submitted by Triple Eight Race Engineering (Australia) Pty Ltd in relation to the time penalty imposed by the Stewards in the 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The Appeal Hearing was heard at the County Court of Victoria Tuesday evening, relating to the severity of the 15 second post-race time penalty handed down to Car #88 (Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell) for Careless Driving after causing contact with Car #33 (Scott McLaughlin/David Wall) at Turn 21 on Lap 150.

The Judicial Panel consisted of Chairman of the Court Walter Sofronoff QC, Deputy Chairman Barry Pilgrim and Member Christopher Blanden QC.

The hearing commenced at 7.03pm AEDT in the County Court of Victoria.

The following people were present on behalf of the appellant, Triple Eight Race Engineering Pty Ltd:
Roland Dane, Managing Director, and Jamie Whincup, driver of car 88.
Also present were Mark Dutton, Race Team Manager and Ken Douglas, Consultant Engineer.

Representing the First Respondent (CAMS) was Matt Selley, representing the Second Respondent (Supercars) was Anthony Hogarth, Supercars General Counsel.

The Chairman of the Court announced that the appeal was dismissed at 7:53pm, after debate regarding whether Triple Eight had a right of appeal against a decision made by the Stewards during a race.

The Court’s reasoning for the decision will be released in writing within 14 days of the conclusion of tonight’s Appeal Hearing.

As per the Supercars Operations Manual (Division B – Judicial Rules – 5.8), all parties involved in the Appeal Hearing shall be bound by The Court’s decision, subject only to rights of appeal pursuant to the FIA International Court of Appeal (ICA).

An appeal to the FIA ICA must be lodged within seven days following notification of the decision of the Supercars National Court of Appeal.

Triple Eight Officially Lodge Protest

Triple Eight has lodged a protest against a 15-second time penalty against Jamie Whincup in the closing stages of the 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The Red Bull Holden Commodore VF driver crossed the line first but was racing under the penalty after a clash with Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin while attempting to pass him late in the race at The Chase as they battled for second place.

Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell were demoted from first to 11th place in the race because of the penalty, which meant Tekno Autosports were awarded the win.

The appeal against the penalty along with a $10,000 fee has been submitted by Red Bull Racing Australia Team Manager Mark Dutton to the CAMS Stewards of the meeting.

A spokesman for Supercars said: “Supercars can confirm an appeal has been lodged by Triple Eight Race Engineering Car 88. Under the operations manual all teams have the ability to appeal a particular decision. Once the appeal is formally lodged and evidence is submitted, the appeal is heard by the Supercars court of appeal which is appointed independently and the procedures run by CAMS. A date has yet to be set to hear the appeal. The results of today’s race are final but subject to the appeal.”

The crux of Triple Eight’s appeal centres on an argument that levying the time penalty is inconsistent with the system of punishment that has been explained to teams this year, which includes three levels of offence and the ability to redress an error by handing back the position taken in the passing move.

Whincup did slow and attempt to redress with McLaughlin immediately, but Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander made contact from the rear as he attempted to pass and then ricocheted into McLaughlin who was re-joining from the grass.

Tander was eliminated on the spot, McLaughlin’s car was damaged but continued out of contention while Whincup raced on.

“We have protested the 15 seconds because the penalty they gave is completely inconsistent with what we have been given as the way the rules will be enforced this year,” Triple Eight owner Roland Dane told supercars.com.

“It is questionable whether Jamie was guilty of any crime when you actually look at the incident with McLaughlin. The stewards have confirmed that the 15 seconds penalty is nothing to do with the aftermath. That wasn’t Jamie’s fault. It was only to do with the incident with McLaughlin.”