The IndyCar Series officials have officially gone soft in the head.
Just a few weeks after Justin Wilson’s win at Texas Motor Speedway was allowed to stand – despite his running an illegal car – the gentlemen in charge have again handed out a slap on the wrist to a team whose driver finished on the podium at last weekend’s race at Toronto despite running an illegal car.
On this occasion, the entry in question was the AJ Foyt Enterprises team, whose driver Mike Conway claimed his first podium finish of the season with a third-placed effort on the streets of Toronto.
The #14 entry failed post-race scrutineering when officials found that its Dallara DW12 was carrying a fuel tank larger than the capacity allowed for this event. The increased tank size could have allowed Conway to run a pit stop strategy with fewer visits to pit lane, which is a significant advantage on a narrow street circuit where overtaking is a tough ask at the best of times.
Rather than an immediate disqualification of his entry – as would be the case in most championship’s races where the car doesn’t conform to the rules – the IndyCar officials have issued the team with a $15,000 fine and a ten-point penalty in the Teams’ Championship standings, which no one gives any credence to anyway!
In what must surely go down as one of the great
indicators of delusion understatements of the year, the series officials argued that the punishment more than fit the crime.
“We felt the discrepancy in the size of the fuel tank was enough that it potentially could have provided a track position advantage and the penalty is reflective of that,” said Will Phillips, IndyCar’s vice president of technology.
Are you for real, mate? Talk about being slapped with a feather…
Were this author an IndyCar team boss, one would be extremely tempted to take the risk of fielding an illegal car and losing a small portion of my prizemoney if it meant I had a competitive advantage over my rivals.
Will other teams take the risk and follow suit while the IndyCar Series continues to adopt such pathetic rules? You’d be hard pressed not to think so…