BTCC teams fined for mix of Croft tires
Six cars run by five teams had the soft Goodyear compound bolted on for the wrong race, with each team subsequently fined £ 1,000 by series organizer TOCA.
Croft was the last of four events in 2021 with the optional tire, and regulations state that each car must use the alternative rubber at least once in each of weekend races one, two and three during those four rounds.
Some riders, including championship leader Ash Sutton and new runner-up Jake Hill, had already used the option in each of races one, two and three in the previous three optional tire events, so had a free choice to Croft.
But more than half of the field was blocked to use the option in a Croft-specific race, including race one winner Aiden Moffat and title contenders Tom Ingram, Josh Cook and Colin Turkington.
While these riders used the optional tire in the correct race, six did not: Dan Rowbottom (Team Dynamics Honda); Jason Plato (Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall); Chris Smiley and Jack Butel (Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundais); Sam Smelt (Speedworks Motorsport Toyota); and Aron Taylor-Smith (Team Hard Cupra).
Three of them – Plato, Smiley and Taylor-Smith – scored points riding on bad tires, although the best result, a seventh for Smiley in race one, came on the regular Goodyear average as it should have rolled with the beneficial soft rubber. .
Start the action, Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 leads
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport images
BTCC supremo Alan Gow told Autosport that the relatively lenient penalty of a fine was due to none of the six having scored a significant number of points.
“It would have been rude to put them at the back of the grid [for the first race at this weekend’s Silverstone round] – it wouldn’t have worked, because half of them are at the back of the grid anyway, ”said Gow.
“And it wasn’t an exclusion offense – it was an administrative error.”
Gow added that if the offense had been committed by one of the main title contenders and they had scored high points, the outcome would have been different.
“If after putting on the wrong tires for this race you did really well, it would be a completely different result,” he said.
“You would exclude them or take them out of the points. “
The error appears to have resulted from confusion among teams, as the optional tire format was dropped as a COVID-19 2020 measure and was only partially reintroduced this season.
“It’s clear and simple on our side of things,” admitted Speedworks boss Christian Dick of the error on Smelt’s car.
“The regulations are not very clear. Sam’s car engineer misunderstood this rule and thought he could use this tire in this race. Obviously he was wrong.
“The lesson learned is that if you have questions, ask before you go. We put our hands up, pay the fine and move on. “
Gordon Shedden, Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport images
Shedden censored for Edwards Shunt
Three-time BTCC champion Gordon Shedden was reprimanded and given two penalty points on his license for his heavy fall with Jade Edwards in the previous round at Thruxton.
The investigation took place last weekend in Croft, after Team Dynamics Honda rider Shedden and BTC Racing Honda rider Edwards blamed each other.
Shedden’s teammate Dan Rowbottom was also penalized for an infraction in the same race. He gained positions ahead of the start-finish line on a tangled restart of the safety car, and an addition of a second drops him points from 14th to 16th.
Further punishments were planned for Croft’s offenses.
Smiley was reprimanded and given two penalty points for a first race collision with Rowbottom at the hairpin that caused late race damage for Ollie Jackson, and Taylor-Smith received a verbal warning for an incident that knocked Rowbottom down the roadblocks. on the next round.
Smiley was penalized 0.7 seconds after the second race for a collision with Stephen Jelley, relegating him from ninth to eleventh place, behind the BMW driver of West Surrey Racing.
And Rowbottom was reprimanded and given two penalty points for an incident with Jelley in the final.