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Appeal date set for British GT Oulton Park results hearing

An appeal hearing into the result of British GT's second Oulton Park race will be heard on 17 May, after last weekend's Silverstone round was staged without success penalties.

RAM Racing pairing Ian Loggie and Jules Gounon won the Oulton contest on the road, but a mid-race red flag during the pitstop period meant their success penalty for finishing second in race one was added to their race time and demoted them to fifth.

RAM’s protest into the result, lodged on the basis that the rulebook did not have a provision to determine what the correct procedure should be for such an eventuality, was rejected but swiftly followed by an appeal to the National Court.

But this was not heard in time for the three-hour Silverstone race and with the Oulton Park result still provisional, the series decided not to impose any in-race time penalties. It has also yet to award any points.

Post-race penalties will be added retrospectively once the Oulton result is confirmed following the hearing, which a Motorsport UK statement provided to Autosport confirmed would be held before the championship's next round on 29 May at Donington Park.

“The National Court is independent and therefore sets the hearing dates for all matters before it,” said the MSUK statement.

“In this case, the appeal has been listed for hearing on 17 May, the earliest possible date, on an abridged timetable specifically to assist the championship and all competitors while respecting the regulated rights of RAM under the regulated appeal timetable.

“RAM was the only entrant to appeal against the decision of the officials at Oulton and seeks to avoid the application of success time penalties for that event altogether.

“Motorsport UK’s legal department has fully cooperated with the court and the championship on a so-urgent basis, to enable the championship to provide a stable structure both pending and after any decision of the court, in the interests of all competitors and importantly of sporting fairness.”

No points have been awarded for last weekend's Silverstone race due to the delay in finalising the Oulton race two result

No points have been awarded for last weekend's Silverstone race due to the delay in finalising the Oulton race two result

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

A British GT championship statement provided to Autosport said its decision not to incorporate success penalties at Silverstone “was taken following extensive consultation with Motorsport UK’s legal department”.

It was deemed “the fairest and simplest way of determining provisional GT3 and GT4 winners at Silverstone, and also ensures that results and championship points are ultimately correct”.

Had the hearing not been held before Donington, the championship would have been forced to also suspend success penalties there, with the Silverstone result remaining in the balance.

However, the result from Silverstone is unlikely to change considerably regardless of the appeal outcome, as none of the top eight finishers have any success penalties looming over them from Oulton Park.

Moreover, provisional Oulton race-two winners Martin Plowman/Andrew Howard (subbing for Kelvin Fletcher) and third-place finishers Chris Froggatt/Kevin Tse in ninth and 10th were the last cars one lap down so wouldn’t lose any positions if time penalties were imposed against them.

Loggie and stand-in co-driver Callum Macleod were 10 laps down in 15th after lap-one contact, but sixth of the GT3 Pro-Am entrants.

RAM boss Dan Shufflebottom told Autosport that the appeal had made no difference to the team's preparations.

“The pitstop penalties, whatever they would be from Oulton, that wouldn’t have changed our approach to the weekend,” he said.

“It’s still got to try and win races and take points when you can. It hasn’t put a shadow over us, not in our eyes.

RAM is fighting for Loggie and Gounon's on-the-road race two win at Oulton Park to be reinstated after they had finished second in race one

RAM is fighting for Loggie and Gounon's on-the-road race two win at Oulton Park to be reinstated after they had finished second in race one

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“But the difference from Oulton is 15 points and that’s important to us because that could be a whole race weekend’s worth of points, so we’re going to continue to push for what we believe is right, that we should have them.”

British GT added that it has “no intention” of removing success penalties.

“Success penalties have been an integral element of British GT for the best part of a decade,” the statement continued.

“Indeed, they are key to maintaining an open championship and something that teams fully accept when joining the series. Also, and unlike success ballast, they allow teams to qualify on merit and drivers to race an uncompromised car – something that’s especially important for our amateur contingent.

“Oulton's red flag created a scenario that we hadn't foreseen but now the regulation has been tightened there is no need to, and we have no intention of, removing Success Penalties in the future.”

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