Prokop won’t be tempted back
The decision to overturn Martin Prokop’s penalty from Rally Italy won’t change his decision not to contest any further World Rally Championship rounds this season.
The former Junior world champion was hit with a five-minute penalty before the start of the Sardinia event in Alghero after it was discovered by scrutineers that a seal was broken on the rear differential of his Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta.
Team manager Quirin Muller had always argued that the seal on the spare differential remained intact and could be checked back at the team’s base in Czech Republic.
This was done after the event and the original decision annulled via the Right of Review in the FIA’S International Sporting Code.
Muller told MN: “I’m disappointed the penalty was applied in Sardinia without proper evidence. They could have given us the [suspended] penalty with the remark that if the seal is found broken, it would be applied.
“This would have been the pro-competitor way of doing it.”
Asked if the decision made any difference to the decision to withdraw from the WRC, Muller said: “No. For the moment, we switched all focus to Dakar 2017, there’s no more time for Martin to do WRC.”
FIA rally director Jarmo Mahonen said: “There was some confusion from two emails and [once the rally was running] it was difficult to check [the differential in Czech Republic].
“There were some big headlines about this, but I read before Sardinia even started that Martin was going to focus on Dakar and not WRC.”