Series veteran Russell Ingall risks the wrath of the V8 Supercars Championship’s officialdom after describing the race stewards as “dopey idiots” for issuing him with a pit lane drive-through penalty that cost the former champion a podium finish in yesterday’s opening race at Winton Raceway.
Having started last after mechanical dramas disrupted his qualifying run, Ingall took the gamble of pitting for fresh tyres during the first of the 34-lap race’s three safety car interruptions, and used his fresh rubber to charge through the field while many of his rivals floundered with rapidly-wearing tyres.
But perhaps true to his nickname ‘The Enforcer’, some of Ingall’s moves were rather more forceful, not least which being his pass on David Wall, where he bumped the Brad Jones Racing Holden out of the way to move into podium contention.
The stewards agreed that the move was out of order – having access to multiple camera angles to view the contact – and hauled Ingall into the pits for a penalty, which he served with three laps to go, dropping him to fifteenth. Ingall charged back up to tenth by the finish, but was still furious at being robbed of what would have been the first podium finish for the underfunded Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team.
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His actions could find him in breach of the series’ rules, which take a dim view on behaviour that is “prejudicial to the interests of any meeting” and “likely to bring the sport of motor racing into disrepute”.
Another line of the rules also states that “a person must not by words, acts, or omissions abuse, intimidate or threaten any other person”.
While public criticism of officials has traditionally been met with fines for the offending speaker, more severe penalties can include exclusion from the race result.
At the time of going to press, a decision on Ingall’s fate was not yet known, although officials did confirm that Ingall and team principal Lucas Dumbrell had been summoned to discuss his outburst.