IndyCar's Brian Barnhardt dismisses claims of inconsistent application of series rules

IndyCar president of competition Brian Barnhart has rubbished suggestions that the series sporting regulations have not been correctly applied during races this season

IndyCar's Brian Barnhardt dismisses claims of inconsistent application of series rules

Numerous incidents that have occurred during the opening half of 2011 races have left drivers and team officials disillusioned with officialdom, with many feeling that there has been no consistency shown.

"We never really know how far we can take it," said Penske driver Ryan Briscoe recently. "Some guys know they can break the rules and get away with it. It would be nice to see it more strict like it is in Formula 1. If there's a white line and you're not supposed to cross it and you do, then you get a penalty. Here, we're never sure."

Drawing particular criticism has been the imposition of the 'avoidable contact' rule, with officials often failing to penalise drivers that have caused significant damage to their own cars after causing a collision.

Barnhart, however, believes that there has been no problem with consistency and that penalising drivers that have wrecked their own races is unnecessary.

"I think we've been consistent," Barnhart said. "People are entitled to their opinions, and we've had numerous opinions. There were several incidents in the last two races - four at Toronto and four at Edmonton - where we charged drivers with [making] avoidable contact.

"And there were numerous situations where the person at fault took themselves out of the race or put themselves at the back of the field. That's far more than the penalty would have been.

"If they're coming in [to a corner] in a careless or reckless fashion and impact another car, then we'll penalise them if they are able to continue. But if you're racing and we deem it to not be overly aggressive, that way we consider it a racing incident."

To read Jeff Olson's latest column, featuring an exclusive interview with Brian Barnhart, click here.

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