Both the #77 and #88 full-season FIA WEC Porsche 911 RSRs have received major penalties after investigations into alleged manipulation of the data fed to the FIA fuel data logger at the Fuji championship round last month. The subsequent decisions see both cars disqualified from the Japanese race, and all points scored to date in all championships in the WEC removed from the team.
The issue arose after fuel stops were observed visually to be below the 45 second minimum in Japan, and both cars were handed time penalties with a requirement to present a report on the infraction to Stewards before the Shanghai round. That data was supplied by the team and a series of meetings have taken place in China to discuss the team, and race officials, investigations into the matter.
The conclusion is that a line of additional code was inserted into the data logging computer that resulted in false readings being supplied, the actual fuelling times having two seconds added to those reported to the FIA. It is understood that breaches have been detected at both Fuji and Silverstone.
In a long and stridently worded pair of Stewards decisions, it is made clear that the team’s position is to lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of an un-named and now dismissed consultant. The team though would not reveal the identity of the consultant, nor the specific details and reasoning for their dismissal.
It makes clear too that evidence from a Porsche Customer racing representative places the responsibility squarely on the team, the team responding in turn that the blame laid with their consultant.
The decisions make it clear that the Stewards have decided that there have been a number of breaches of Regulations (Their full decisions are attached) which constitute “fraudulent process”. Even if the consultant was guilty of the actions described that this would still be, by regulation, the responsibility of the team to manage and report and that in failing to identify the said consultant the team were guilty of “failure to co-operate in an investigation”.
The team is set to appeal the decisions and until that process is complete it is not clear whether the team is at risk of losing its Le Mans win for the #77 car and its subsequent Auto entry for the 2019 race. The team, across their Dempsey Proton and Proton Competition monikers currently hold four auto entries.
With final results having been declared for the rounds up to the Fuji race (whose result was provisional pending this investigation), the changes to the points affect only the removal of points from the Dempsey Proton pair, with no other team receiving a boost in points total as a result.