Top rally drivers disagree over fine

Top rally drivers are at odds following the heavy fine imposed on Peugeot driver Gilles Panizzi

Top rally drivers disagree over fine

Panizzi was fined $50,000 for allegedly assaulting Argentine driver Roberto Sanchez at the end of the Safari Rally's third competitive section.

Richard Burns - who won last week's event - and Colin McRae have spoken out against the severity of the fine.

Burns said: "You can say he shouldn't have gone and had a go at the guy, but 50,000 dollars? When events get away with all kinds of safety infringements?

"I think if you punch someone you're going to be in trouble, but it means organisers get as much as Mike Tyson - for the time involved."

McRae added: "I think it's completely over the top and I don't agree with the way they do it, that it's left to the stewards and the FIA just to slap a fine on you.

"Fair enough if there is a list of penalties for certain things, then you can accept it, but what gives them the right to slap 50,000 dollars on the guy for doing what he did? It's a heat of the moment thing.

"These guys that slapped a fine on him, I'm sure none of them could turn round and say if they were in the same circumstances they wouldn't do something like that."

However, SEAT's Didier Auriol believed the fine was justified.

He said: "I think it's a good thing. If - and I stress the 'if' - he hit someone, that's unacceptable for a professional driver."

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