The #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 which was penalised after the first Blancpain Sprint Cup race of the weekend at the Nürburgring yesterday, (which provisionally, it won), will not compete in Race 2 today after being disqualified from the event.
The team was initially penalised for breaching Article 120 of the Blancpain Sporting Regulations after “TV footage showed that Christian Engelhart was wearing his frontal head restraint (FHR) over the shoulder straps of his harness.”
This resulted in the car being handed a 30-second time penalty after the race, dropping the car to 13th. Today though, SRO has explained that “further footage showed that, after the chequered flag, Engelhart removed his glove, unbuckled his harness, and removed the SD card from the driver-facing Onboard Safety Camera. Engelhart was then seen to destroy the SD card before returning to the pits.
“Driving on-track with an unbuckled harness and without gloves are both actions in contradiction of ISC Appendix L Chapter III Article 2.
“Furthermore, Engelhart’s car was found to not have an operating Onboard Safety Camera throughout Saturday’s race, as required by Article 66 of the Blancpain GT Series 2018 Sporting Regulations.
“Onboard Safety Cameras were introduced to the Sprint Cup to control the proper application of Article 120 of the 2018 Sporting Regulations.
“It states in part that: “a driver coming into the pits cannot unfasten his safety harness or racing net until his car is completely stopped in front of the pit garage.”Further to this: “After a pit stop, the car can only start moving after the driver’s safety harness and racing have been fastened.”
“For these actions, car #63 has been disqualified from the event and will not take part in Race 2. The competitor has been reminded of their right to appeal, in accordance with Article 15 of the 2018 FIA International Sporting Code.”
Grasser Racing has responded to the decision, explaining that Engelhart has taken full responsibility for the mistake.
“Following the Stewards decision Nº 07 the GRT Grasser Racing Team car #63 has been disqualified from the Event,” the statement reads.
“Engelhart admitted full responsibility for the error, he respects the Stewards decision and brings his sincere apologies to the FIA, SRO Motorsports Group, Lamborghini Squadra Corse and the GRT Grasser Racing Team.”
Race 2 at the Nürburgring is set to start at 16:00 local time today.
Image courtesy of Blancpain GT Series