Smith ‘let down’ by Mini of­fi­cials af­ter qual­i­fy­ing ex­clu­sion over rear-view mir­ror ir­reg­u­lar­ity

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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

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