Smith ‘let down’ by Mini officials after qualifying exclusion over rear-view mirror irregularity
British Touring Car driver Jeff Smith has hit out at his controversial exclusion from Mini Challenge qualifying at Snetterton last weekend, after his rear-view mirror was protested.
Smith had qualified on pole for the first race on Saturday when his Eurotech Racing-run car was protested by a rival driver for having a non-permitted convex rear-view mirror fitted. The mirrors are mandated in the BTCC, but aren’t written into Mini Challenge regulations.
Smith was excluded from the session and made to start at the back of the grid for race one, with a 10-second delayed start penalty.
Smith said: “Whilst I appreciate that the regulations have not been written in a manner to incorporate the use of these mirrors, I feel let down that the championship did not stand in and influence the protest as it clearly gave no performance advantage and I lost a pole and possibly a race win over something absolutely petty. It makes a mockery of the sport.”
Mini Challenge promoter Antony Williams said: “I feel for Jeff and we do plan to have the mirrors written into the regulations from next year as they do bring a safety benefit. But rules are rules; the implementation of the rules, including technical matters, is an MSA matter and we cannot influence that.”
Exclusion frustrated Smith