Ryan Hunter-Reay's New Hampshire win upheld
|By Sam Tremayne||Wednesday, August 24th 2011, 15:21 GMT|
Ryan Hunter-Reay's controversial victory at New Hampshire has been upheld after a three-man IndyCar panel denied protests lodged by the Newman/Haas and Chip Ganassi Racing squads.
Hunter-Reay was declared the winner by race organisers, but controversy reigned as Oriol Servia (Newman/Haas) and Scott Dixon (Ganassi) passed him on the final restart prior to the race being halted.
Several cars lost control on that final restart however, which was made in wet conditions that several drivers and teams thought too much to return to racing.
The decision was therefore made to reset the results to prior to the restart, dropping Servia back to second and Dixon to third - and prompting both drivers teams to appeal the ruling.
After a hearing conducted by Jerry Gappens, Rollie Helmling and Jeff Stoops, the protests were denied and Hunter-Reay's victory was officially confirmed.
A signed statement from the panel read: "It is this Protest Panel's conclusion that INDYCAR Senior Official Brian Barnhart had the authority under the governing 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook to render the decision that was made.
"We also agree that his decision to abort the restart and set the finishing positions that existed before the attempted restart to be an exercise of reasonable discretion.
"The protests as to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. d/b/a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car No.9 and Newman/Haas Racing, LLC car No.2 are hereby denied."
Both teams have until 5 p.m. on Friday to appeal the decision.