The outcome of the team orders charge against DJR Team Penske following the controversial Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be decided and released this weekend.
In a statement, governing body the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) confirmed the hearing will take place on Saturday, October 19.
CAMS also confirmed the outcome will revealed to the public the following day — exactly a week after the race, which was won by Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat.
The results have remained provisional all week following an investigation and subsequent charge against the Ford team, which instructed Fabian Coulthard in the sister car to slow down during a Lap 135 Safety Car period.
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Coulthard was handed a pit-lane drive through penalty for a breach of Safety Car procedure, and finished sixth in the race alongside co-driver Tony D’Alberto.
The inquiry was triggered — according to the post-event stewards summary — after suspicion that the team may have “issued an instruction to the Driver of Car #12 to slow and create an unwarranted large gap between Cars #17 and Car #12 for tactical reasons”.
Stewards also cited an in-race interview by team managing director Ryan Story, as well as the “extraordinary increase” in the gap between #17 and #12 during the Safety Car deployment, “to hold concerns that Rule D24.1 may have been breached”.
Afterwards, Deputy Race Director David Stuart laid the team orders charge having construed evidence via interviews with Story, Coulthard and #12 engineer Mark Fenning, Hawk Eye footage, in-car footage, car data and #12 radio communications.
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“CAMS can today advise the Stewards Hearing involving Racing Team (Aust) Pty Ltd (DJR Team Penske) regarding the alleged breach of Rule D24.1 at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will now be held on Saturday, 19 October,” read the CAMS statement.
“The outcome and the publication of the decision will occur on Sunday, 20 October, with the stewards summary to be made available on the CAMS website as soon as it is available.”
The team was charged with breaching Rule D24.1, which prohibits the use of team orders.
24.1.1 states the prohibition of “an instruction to a Driver or Team member, either verbal or otherwise the effect of which may interfere with a race result”.
Additionally, 24.1.2 states “it is not permitted for any sponsor, supplier, entity or related entity, including an Automobile manufacturer, importer or their representative to impose or seek to impose Team orders, on any Team”.
McLaughlin cited “out of proportion” media reporting on the incident as being a factor in his disappointment, and also took aim at social media users for laying the boot into Coulthard, who admitted his frustration after the race for following orders.
“It’s been bloody hard for [Coulthard], for the team, for Alex and I too, it’s not the place we want to be in,” McLaughlin said.
“As we always do, we’ll stick together as a team and get through it.
“But what I’ll say is social media is out of control. So-called fans sending him death threats to drivers like Fabian is pathetic.
“People sending that kind of bulls**t to real people who have families, who have real lives, to deal with it … for me, it’s unacceptable.
“It’s all created by the media controversy that has been blown out of proportion.”