IndyCar officials have ruled that Ryan Hunter-Reay’s controversial win at the last round in New Hampshire will stand, after appeals from the Newman/Haas and Chip Ganassi teams were thrown out.
Andretti driver Hunter-Reay was declared the winner in a rain-hit affair at New Hampshire Speedway, but the veracity of his win was called into question when the race was red-flagged after the final restart, by which point he had been passed by Oriol Servià (Newman/Haas) and Scott Dizon (Ganassi).
The race was brought to a halt after the last restart when Danica Patrick spun on the damp circuit, triggering a multi-car pile-up that took out several other competitors, including championship contender Will Power.
After some deliberation, IndyCar Senior Official Brian Barnhardt declared that the race results would be reset to the positions prior to the restart, which meant Hunter-Reay was deemed to be the winner.
A protest hearing upheld the original results, with a statement reading: “It is this Protest Panel’s conclusion that INDYCAR Senior Official Brian Barnhart had the authority under the governing 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook to render the decision that was made.
“We also agree that his decision to abort the restart and set the finishing positions that existed before the attempted restart to be an exercise of reasonable discretion.
“The protests as to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. d/b/a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car No.9 and Newman/Haas Racing, LLC car No.2 are hereby denied.”
Both Newman/Haas and Chip Ganassi can lodge a further appeal by 5pm tomorrow.
The next round of the championship is the Grand Prix of Sonoma, which is held this weekend at California’s Infineon Raceway.
[Image via LAT]