It’s official – Holden’s Will Davison can keep the Peter Brock Trophy.
The podium for Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 has finally been confirmed after the failure of an audacious bid by Red Bull Racing (RBR) to clear Jamie Whincup in the wake of a controversial finish.
RBR launched an appeal after four time Bathurst winner Whincup crossed the line first at Mount Panorama, only to be relegated to 11th due to a time penalty.
He copped a 15-second penalty for his role in a late incident that ended the winning chances of Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin and Holden’s Garth Tander.
RBR then tried to amend their protest in a bid to have the charge dropped or the incident re-investigated.
However, an interim ruling by the Supercars National Court of Appeal on Friday knocked back RBR’s request.
It means they can only appeal the severity of six-time series champion Whincup’s time penalty, ensuring no change to the original podium.
At best, RBR can have Whincup’s punishment cut to a 10-second penalty earning him eighth place in the Great Race, and 38 extra championship points.
RBR must finalise their appeal against the penalty by 1755 (AEST) on Friday after successfully requesting an extra 24 hours from governing body, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS).
A CAMS spokesman confirmed RBR’s initial appeal covered only the time penalty’s severity but, during the week, they also asked if it could be extended to include:
* there was an error in the application and interpretation of the rules by the stewards
* natural justice was denied Whincup by the stewards
* “At 1230 AEDT today the court denied the application from the team,” the CAMS spokesman said
After days of uncertainty, Supercars boss James Warburton welcomed the Court of Appeal’s verdict.
“Supercars Australia respects the right of all teams to appeal the decisions of stewards,” he said.
“However, it also recognises the groundswell of opinion from teams, drivers and fans who have expressed a strong desire to see one of Australia’s biggest sporting events decided on the racetrack and not in a court room.”
Two-time Bathurst victor Davison will be breathing a little easier after being told he can hang onto the Brock Trophy.
Despite the looming appeal, Davison said he had already received an assurance from RBR team boss Roland Dane that they didn’t want the Bathurst 1000 results overturned.
“He (Dane) said the last thing he wanted to do was to change our result,” Davison told speedcafe website this week.
“I understand what they (RBR) are doing to get Jamie’s penalty changed slightly but there is no way we will lose the lead.”
Meanwhile, CAMS confirmed the judicial panel of Walter Sofronoff (chairman), Barry Pilgrim (deputy chairman) and Christopher Blanden would preside over RBR’s appeal against the penalty’s severity.
The date for the hearing is expected to be confirmed on Friday night.