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Mixed outcome from FIA Court of Appeal hearing on Slovakia exclusions

There were mixed results from the FIA International Court of Appeal [ICA] hearing against the exclusion of Münnich Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion Racing, with the former being reinstated in the results whilst the latter lost its appeal.

In a controversial weekend for the WTCR, the Honda cars were excluded from the results after the Civics were found to be not in compliance with the published boost levels in the Balance of Performance [BoP] charts issued for the weekend.

Both teams protested the decision and were allowed to start the race from their grid positions due to a situation in which the FIA boost chart had not been authorised by WSC, who published their own boost chart.

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In essence, the FIA BoP chart was not published by the stewards of the meeting, and was thus not in conformance with the FIA WTCR regulations.

The hearing took place on Monday 17 September and the results have now been made public.

Münnich Motorsport were reinstated their results for Esteban Guerrieri (Yann Ehrlacher was not affected) due to having been within the WSC BoP, whilst Boutsen Ginion Racing were stripped of their results due to having been outside the WSC BoP regarding engine speed limits (which was restricted to 7,000 rpm), even though both teams were initially excluded for exceeding the ineligible FIA BoP.

Officially the ICA “quashed decision No. 30 [against Münnich Motorsport] taken by the Stewards of the Race of Slovakia on 14 July 2018” and “confirmed decisions No. 31 and 32 [against Boutsen Gionion Racing] taken by the Stewards of the Race of Slovakia on 14 July 2018 in that they sanction through disqualification the Appellant’s failure to respect the maximum engine speed value.”

The biggest change to the results is Benjamin Lessennes exclusion from race two, where had originally finished in fifth, promoting the reinstated Esteban Guerrieri to eighth.

The decision means that Tom Coronel will lose the eighth place he scored in the third race of the weekend, although he keeps his seventh from race one due to the checks having been carried out after the opening race.

Earlier in the weekend the Hyundai i30 N TCR cars of Yvan Muller, Thed Björk and Norbert Michelisz had been sent to the back of the grid for the first race for a similar incident in published body levels, although the car of Gabriele Tarquini was not affected.

One of the key findings of the hearing was the endorsement of TCR promoter WSC’s position in the process, with the hearing stating that “these regulations thus provide, in a consistent manner, that WSC must take part in the decision-making process for the publication of new BoP limits.”

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