Adam/haigh win Bri­tish GT ap­peal

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - JAMES NEW­BOLD

Op­ti­mum Mo­tor­sport’s Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam will take a com­mand­ing 27.5-point ad­van­tage into the Bri­tish GT cham­pi­onship de­cider at Don­ing­ton Park next week­end, with 37.5 points avail­able, af­ter suc­cess­fully ap­peal­ing a 30-sec­ond penalty in race one at Snet­ter­ton.

Haigh was dealt a driv­ethrough penalty fol­low­ing con­tact with Andrew Howard’s Beechdean As­ton Martin, which was sub­se­quently con­verted to the time penalty that de­moted the Op­ti­mum As­ton Martin from fourth to ninth, at a cost of 10 points.

Fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion of the Na­tional Court to re­in­state Op­ti­mum to fourth place, Haigh and Adam can win the cham­pi­onship by fin­ish­ing sixth at Don­ing­ton, re­gard­less of what clos­est pur­suers Jon Min­shaw/

Phil Keen (Bar­well Mo­tor­sport) do.

Bri­tish GT cham­pi­onship man­ager Ben­jamin Franasso­vici had writ­ten to the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion urg­ing it to reach a de­ci­sion so as not to over­shadow the sea­son fi­nale – a point wel­comed by Op­ti­mum boss Shaun Goff: “The one thing I can’t sit here and ac­cuse is the cham­pi­onship – they’ve been ac­com­mo­dat­ing in try­ing to get ev­ery­thing sorted. We’ve gone through a messy process which is no detri­ment to the se­ries, all we wanted was to get a panel of ste­wards to see the full ev­i­dence.”

Af­ter the Na­tional Court agreed to per­mit its ap­peal and ev­i­dence was viewed by a new panel at a hear­ing, the col­li­sion was deemed a rac­ing in­ci­dent and the de­ci­sion over­turned.

This fol­lowed clar­i­fi­ca­tion re­gard­ing a loop­hole in the MSA’S blue book and the right to ap­peal driv­ethrough penal­ties, in­clud­ing those con­verted into time penal­ties. “We’ve had our fair share of those loop­holes,” said Franasso­vici. “It’s not ideal but it’s part of rac­ing and we’ve got to live with it. Those loop­holes pop up oc­ca­sion­ally, some­times it’s painful, some­times not.

“De­spite a few bumps, which are not our fault, people are at­tracted to the for­mat, the com­pe­ti­tion, the ser­vice pro­vided. As far as I’m con­cerned, we’re do­ing ev­ery­thing right.”

TF Sport’s As­ton Martin pair­ing Mark Farmer/nicki Thiim are the only other duo in math­e­mat­i­cal con­tention, one point be­hind Min­shaw/keen on 121 points.

Haigh (r) was ini­tially pe­nalised for crash

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