Prokop won’t be tempted back

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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.”

Martin Prokop

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