Houston IndyCar winners Carlos Huertas and Dale Coyne Racing fined
|By Mark Glendenning||Wednesday, July 2nd 2014, 19:24 GMT|
IndyCar has fined Dale Coyne Racing a total of $10,000 after two technical infractions were detected on race winner Carlos Huertas's car following last Saturday's installment of the Houston double-header.
The Colombian's Dallara-Honda was found to be in breach of rule 18.104.22.168 (rear wing height) and rule 14.7.2 (fuel cell capacity).
Each infraction incurred a $5000 fine. A series statement did not offer any further details of the violations other than to say that IndyCar officials had determined that the infractions did not impact the finishing order of the race, or the final position of the offending team.
Huertas earned a shock maiden win on Saturday with the help of an aggressive fuel strategy, with the rookie running such a long final stint that second-placed Juan Pablo Montoya did not risk attacking him on the grounds that he did not believe that the 23-year-old could make it to the end of the race without a late top-up.
This is the second time in three years that a race-winning Dale Coyne car has subsequently failed an inspection.
Justin Wilson was docked five points and the team fined $7500 after the car that took him to victory at Texas in 2012 was later determined to be carrying illegal bodywork on its sidepods.
This isn't the first time in the last couple of years that a race-winning IndyCar has later failed tech. It's not even the first time that a Dale Coyne car has done so: two of the team's last three wins have been earned with cars that later failed inspection.
There's no evidence that DCR is deliberately trying to circumvent the rules, but in both cases (along with Penske's Helio Castroneves at Texas in 2013) the victories should not have stood.
IndyCar's sanctions for technical breaches are disproportionally light, and they send all sorts of strange messages about the real value of a win.
Whether Huertas - or Wilson, or Castroneves - gained an advantage from their respective situations isn't the point. The quality of competition is the strongest card in IndyCar's hand right now, and the last thing it can afford to do is undermine that competition's integrity.