The factory and privateer Hondas have been ruled to be running non-compliant fuel injectors at the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s recent visit to China.
Honda’s three factory entries and the two cars entered by privateer outfit Zengõ Motorsport have therefore been excluded from all results in qualifying and the two races at the event, which was held at the new Ningbo International Speedpark.
Concerns over Honda’s injectors were raised during scrutineering on Friday, and a subsequent meeting by the FIA ruled that the design hadn’t complied with the homologation procedure.
“At the Race of China the Technical Delegate sealed a fuel injector from car #34 (Ryo Michigami),” reads the stewards’ decision. “The Competitor acknowledged that the sealed components were used in all competition at the Race of China and further that cars 2 and 5 used identical components.
“Following investigation, the FIA Technical Department determined that the fuel injectors used in the three cars were not in compliance with Article 263.003, 263.004 and 263.324 of Appendix J. At the hearing the Competitor agreed that the fuel injectors were not in compliance with the Articles.
“The 3 cars #2 (Gabriele Tarquini), #5 (Norbert Michelisz) and #34 are disqualified from Qualifying, MAC 3, Opening Race and the Main Race at the Race of China,” their decision concludes.
A later hearing confirmed the exclusion of the two Zengõ Motorsport Hondas of Dániel Nagy and Zsolt Dávid Szabó.
The decisions have a major impact in the battle for the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship standings.
Polestar Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk extends his lead in the standings to 3.5 points over the currently absent Tiago Monteiro, whose Honda teammate Norbert Michelisz now slips back to fourth in the championship. Michelisz now lies 32.5 points behind Björk, as well as behind the Swede’s teammate Nicky Catsburg.
Honda’s slim lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship standings is also reversed. Unable to claim any points from the MAC3 or the two races in China, it has slipped a hefty 64.5 points behind Volvo.
|2017 FIA WTCC Drivers’ Updated Drivers’ Championship Standings|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Pts|
|1.||Thed Björk||Polestar Cyan Racing||203.5|
|2.||Tiago Monteiro||Honda Racing Team JAS||200|
|3.||Nick Catsburg||Polestar Cyan Racing||180.5|
|4.||Norbert Michelisz||Honda Racing Team JAS||171|
|5.||Mehdi Bennani||Sébastien Loeb Racing||164|
|6.||Tom Chilton||Sébastien Loeb Racing||158.5|
|7.||Esteban Guerrieri||Campos Racing||147|
|8.||Rob Huff||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||138|
|9.||Néstor Girolami||Polestar Cyan Racing||88|
|10.||Yann Ehrlacher||RC Motorsport||65|
Image via FIA WTCC Media