New TCN Logo

Upcoming events:

New TCN Logo

Tony D’Alberto loses appeal against Symmons Plains non-points race

Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto has lost his appeal against the controversial decision not to award points in the opening TCR Australia round at Symmons Plains last month.

D’Alberto had qualified his Honda on pole position before converting it into a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race, which had been shortened and featured limited racing laps due to earlier incidents.

A decision was initially made to award full points, which was subsequently protested by Garry Rogers Motorsport and the points later removed.

- Advertisement -

This had an effect on the rest of the weekend, because the confirmation came after race two on Sunday had already taken place. The total points scored in races one and two determines the grid for race three.

As a result, D’Alberto claimed that he had not pushed as hard as he otherwise had to in race two, believing that he already had enough points to earn the race three pole position.

In protest at the decision, D’Alberto later withdrew from race three entirely.

The official appeal has supported the stance of the race officials, with Motorsport Australia supporting the original decision.

“Motorsport Australia can provide an update regarding Race 1 of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series’ previous round at AWC Race Tasmania,” said a statement from Motorsport Australia.

“With Tony D’Alberto lodging an appeal against the allocation of no points for the race, and a hearing taking place earlier this week, the appeal has officially been dismissed and the stewards’ decision has been deemed correct.

“The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series continues this weekend at the Ford Mustang 60 Years Race Phillip Island.”

D’Alberto’s decision to race conservatively in race two was his own decision, according to the appeal findings, which pointed out that the race one result had not been declared official at the time of race two and that D’Alberto made his own strategic decisions based on the risks of the result not having been declared.

“These arguments do not touch on the correctness of the stewards’ decision on appeal,” it read in the outcome of the hearing.

“However, they are not tenable in any event. First, even if he did not know of the fact of the GRM Protest, the Appellant must have known when he commenced Race 2 that Final Classifications for Race 1 had not been issued and therefore no points had yet been (finally) awarded for that race.

“It was his decision to drive conservatively in Race 2 when there was a risk that the grid for Race 3 might not take into account any points for Race 1. Secondly, the stewards’ duty is to construe and apply the rules and make decisions in accordance with them. They did so.

“In any event, as we have decided, the fact that the Appellant was aggrieved by the decision of the stewards to award no points for Race 1 (no doubt like other Competitors who lost the benefit of points they might have been awarded for Race 1 had circumstances been different) cannot be a basis to uphold his appeal. The stewards’ decision was correct.”

D’Alberto responded to the outcome on social media with disappointment, expressing hope that the sequence of events can bring about changes in the sporting regulations of the TCR Australia series to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“My first DNF in TCR … and it was voluntary,” read D’Alberto’s response on social media.

“Now that the dust has settled on the TCR event in Tasmania last month and a result has come from the tribunal hearing regarding the outcome of that event, I thought it was time to clear the air, from my side.

“The outcome from the Motorsport Australia tribunal hearing did not go in our favour, but that’s not to say that the issues that snowballed and turned Tassie into a major headache for myself, my team and other competitors weren’t heard or dismissed.

“The simple facts were that at Symmons Plains, we qualified on pole, won the first Race (which was eventually deemed a non-race because not enough laps were complete – fair enough), and finished Race 2 in a position to warrant starting from pole for the all-important final.

“Of course, none of that actually happened. A protest saw Race 1’s results scrapped and, effectively, the reverse top 10 race set the grid for Race 3 (which we learnt 15 minutes prior)……That is simply not right, so I decided to withdraw.

“I didn’t want to take this matter to a tribunal. I certainly didn’t want to sit out the last race. But the simple facts are, my weekend was turned on its head through a procedure mistake that the tribunal agreed happened and shouldn’t have. As competitors we have to abide by the rules that Motorsport Australia outline. This is where the confusion sets in.

“Will we see change in the future? I genuinely hope Motorsport Australia and TCR Australia look at what happened and make changes for a fairer future. If by taking the stand achieved nothing but force conversations on how to improve this series, then I see that as a win.

“Lastly…. I received a HUGE amount of support, thank you to the many people who called, messaged, reached out over social media and offered kind words. It was nice to see and hear that people care – not just about my results, but the state and future of our sport.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -