Van Gisbergen stripped of Spa win for De Pasquale contact
Esports | May 7th, 2020
Shane van Gisbergen has been stripped of his Race 1 win from the Supercars Eseries round at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Red Bull Holden driver was a controversial winner in the opener at the Belgian circuit, after a race-long battle with Anton De Pasquale came to a head at the Bus Stop on the final lap.
De Pasquale managed to get alongside leader van Gisbergen on the exit of the chicane, before the Red Bull Holden tipped the Erebus car into a spin.
Van Gisbergen managed to narrowly hold off Scott McLaughlin and Cam Waters to get to the line first, however race control – led by real-world driving standards advisor Craig Baird – immediately put the incident under review.
Initially it was announced that van Gisbergen would be penalised in Race 3, as an immediate post-race penalty would have only improved his starting position for the reverse-grid race that followed.
However series officials decided to wait until the round was complete before dishing out a penalty, deciding this morning that van Gisbergen will be relegated from first to fifth in the final Race 1 results.
De Pasquale, meanwhile, has been reinstated to fourth, having been bumped down the order due to picking up incident points for hitting the wall.
“It was very clear that car #99 had the opportunity to make a clean pass on the outside of car #97,” explained Craig Baird.
“At that point, car #99 was given no racing room. When they went back to the left, car #99 left racing room for the #97 Red Bull Holden.
“Car #97 had racing room on the right and chose not to use it, causing avoidable contact.
“At the time of the incident there was only one camera angle available to use for the review, we knew a penalty was most likely, but we had to review it thoroughly which we now have.
“Had Shane been penalised immediately after Race 15 he would’ve started in a better position in the reverse grid race.
“The black flag Car #99 received for too many in-race penalties in Race 15 has now been overturned, as the final penalty was linked to going off circuit due to the incident with van Gisbergen.
“De Pasquale’s provisional finishing position of 19th has been reversed and he will be awarded the fourth place finishing position, with van Gisbergen awarded 5th place.
“As is always the case in motorsport, we cannot award a driver a race win because they were tussling for the lead at the time of an incident. It must be based on the position a driver is in when they officially cross the finish line.”
The penalty means the win goes to McLaughlin, who himself was subject to some confusion regarding his Race 1 result.
The Penske Ford driver had crossed the line second, but was formally classified in 15th due to an in-game penalty for incident points.
The second place – now a race win – was later reinstated, however, as the incident points breach actually occurred due to harmless contact with Waters after the pair had crossed the finish line.
Van Gisbergen is still the round winner, with his $1000 donation going to Wings for Life.
McLaughlin, meanwhile, now has a 59-point lead over van Gisbergen in the standings.