Almost one-fifth of this year’s V8 Supercars Championship grid was awarded championship point deductions after a crash-filled round at Sydney Motorsport Park last weekend, with the series’ stewards clamping down on ill-disciplined driving.
Three drivers – James Moffat, Garth Tander and Russell Ingall – were hit with points deductions after Saturday’s pair of rain-affected Sprint Races both won by Shane van Gisbergen, while Rick Kelly was the sole offender after Sunday’s Feature Race, which was won by Scott McLaughlin.
The Nissan duo of Moffat and Kelly were hit with 35- and 25-point deductions respectively after causing avoidable accidents.
Moffat’s came as a result of spinning Ford driver David Reynolds into the path of Tim Slade on the opening lap of the first Sprint Race. Slade’s SuperCheap Auto Racing Holden was left with nowhere to go, clipping Reynolds’ Ford Falcon before being launched onto two wheels (pictured above). Slade’s Holden was badly damaged in the accident, and he took no further part in the weekend’s activities.
Moffat’s Nissan stablemate Rick Kelly was the Japanese marque’s second offender, with the former series champion copping his first points deduction in four years after he tipped Garth Tander’s Holden into a spin at the final corner during Sunday’s Feature Race while the pair was disputing twelfth place. The incident dropped a frustrated Tander to an 18th-placed finish – and earned Kelly a 25-point hit – with the former champ having earlier been turned around by another Nissan, this time of Michael Caruso.
That being said, Tander was no angel last weekend either. The Townsville winner had earlier come to grief with the field’s fourth Nissan in Saturday’s second race, colliding with Todd Kelly in a clumsy attempt to overtake at Turn 2. The contact sent both sliding into the grass run-off, with the contact breaking a steering arm on Tander’s car and putting him out of the race. Tander earned a 25-point penalty as a result.
Series veteran Russell Ingall also copped a 25-point deduction after he was found to have recklessly collided with fellow Holden runner Nick Percat at Turn 5 during Saturday’s second race. The two were battling for eleventh place, but the incident dropped Percat to twentieth, last of the unlapped runners.
Meanwhile, the Volvo Polestar Racing team also earned the ire of the stewards following Scott McLaughlin’s S60 shedding its right-rear wheel during Saturday’s second sprint race. The team was fined $10,000 – half of which is suspended until the end of the season – along with the loss of 50 championship points in the rarely followed Teams’ Championship standings.
Image via V8 Supercars Championship Media