Jamie Whincup has apologised for his heated comments directed towards race officials and has avoided a fine and race suspension following last weekend’s drama in New Zealand.
The matter has been closed following a discussion between Whincup, CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca and Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
In a joint statement from Supercars and CAMS, all parties acknowledged that “mistakes were made” and “improvements are required” following the Safety Car drama which marred Race 24 at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
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‘We want apologies’: Holdsworth calls for accountability over Safety Car debacle
Whincup finished 16th despite starting from pole at Pukekohe on Sunday, with the Triple Eight driver handed a drive-through penalty for breaching Safety Car procedure.
Despite the controversy, seven-time champion Whincup admitted he won’t change his win-at-all-costs approach. However, Tickford Racing veteran Lee Holdsworth believes decisions similar to Whincup’s to overtake the Safety Car warrant race exclusion in future.
On Friday, it was confirmed all parties will work together to avoid similar events occurring in future. Arocca said he will personally oversee a complete debrief on the Pukekohe incident.
Whincup’s apology ensures CAMS will take the matter no further. The same goes for Tickford’s Cameron Waters, who also issued a written apology to CAMS for his comments after the race.
“I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the race control officials, and officials more broadly, for my comments following the recent Supercars round in Auckland,” Whincup said.
“While the comments were made in the heat of the moment following a long weekend, these kind of comments about our officials have no place in our sport.
“Everyone in the paddock is aware that we simply couldn’t compete without the dedication and sacrifices of all officials and I apologise unreservedly for any offence I have caused.”
In overseeing a detailed review into the controversy, Arocca said CAMS accepts “the right of competitors to dispute our decisions”.
However, he added “personal attacks on the professionalism of officials have no place in any sport”.
“From grassroots motorsport through to Supercars events, our officials deserve everyone’s respect and support in what is often a thankless but undeniably important and difficult role,” Arocca said.
“There is no doubt Jamie’s comments have upset many people however, having had the opportunity to speak to him I know that he is genuinely remorseful for the offence he has caused, particularly in race control.
“We will take the opportunity to debrief the weekend and review all matters leading up to the deployment of the safety car, particularly given the unique nature of Pukekohe.
“We will always strive to do our best and continue to maintain the highest standards of professionalism in overseeing one of the most passionate and competitive race competitions in the world.”
”Sometimes people get it wrong in any sport, whether it is motorsport, football, cricket or any code,” Seamer said.
“Players, drivers, officials and administrators, irrespective of the tools and capabilities they have access to, make mistakes. No one is perfect.
“In a sport like ours, driven by passion, these errors can and do get amplified. Eugene and I have discussed the various incidents that occurred on Sunday and we agree this was such a case.
“Ultimately, the rules are the rules and we support CAMS and its officials in the implementation and application of those rules. We look forward to discussing the outcome of CAMS’ review and debrief of the race.”