Aston Martin Protest Maserati Entry

Aston Martin Protest Maserati Entry
Sebring organisers IMSA have confirmed that Aston Martin have officially protested the validity of entry of the Maserati MC12.

Prodrive boss David Richards, responsible for the overall Aston Martin programme which is making its debut at Sebring, had previously promised to "take whatever action was appropriate"to prevent Maserati competing until their car achieves homologation, stating that the decision to let them run was "sticking two fingers up at genuine participants."

The protest was received by Race Director Marty Kauffman on Tuesday afternoon, and a protest hearing decision will be handed down no later than this afternoon (Thursday) local time.

Speaking at a press conference, Richards again attacked the decision to allow Maserati to compete, stating: "This is not directed at a manufacturer, it is about the protocol in which we go forward in this sport. It's our belief at Aston Martin that we have invested a lot to come here and build the cars and look toward the future of GT1.

"It is very clear that regulations [should] be strictly adhered to because if we keep issuing waivers for different manufacturers we'll never have stability in the sport. It's very important to establish that from the outset. We welcome the competition, but only on an equal basis. Unless we get stability, we won't attract new manufacturers."

Maserati Sporting President Claudio Berro was unrepentant; while acknowledging the protest had be made, he noted: "We received an invitation from IMSA to race and we accepted it. The ACO and FIA recently came together for the same rules and regulations and we comply within the FIA regulations. The ACO says there is a 66mm difference between GT1 cars and our car and seven to 10 kilos.

"We are not concerned about the protest. We will respect IMSA's decision."

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