WTCR Suzuka: Six drivers penalised for slow driving in qualifying

Three Hyundai World Touring Car Cup drivers plus the three Munnich Motorsport Honda runners have received grid penalties for the opening Suzuka race after an incident in Friday's first qualifying

WTCR Suzuka: Six drivers penalised for slow driving in qualifying

All six drivers - YMR's Thed Bjork and BRC drivers Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini, plus Munnich racers Yann Ehrlacher, Esteban Guerrieri and Timo Scheider - were running in close company in the closing stages of qualifying.

Title contender Bjork was at the front of the train, which ran in formation until other cars caught the pack.

The stewards considered the matter after a report from the race director, and in their verdict said the group had been "driving unnecessarily slowly on the track" exiting the Turn 11 hairpin, reporting that the "slowest speed between T11 and T12 was 25-32km/h".

The stewards said this created "a potentially dangerous situation", and the drivers were deemed to have contravened article 2 e) of Appendix L, chapter five, of the International Sporting Code.

This states that "it is not permitted to drive any car unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time".

All six drivers will therefore drop three places on the grid.

Explaining the decision to award the penalties, a statement from the stewards read: "Each driver drove unnecessarily slowly which created a potential danger."

But the stewards deemed "no driver was considered any more or less to blame than the others", and therefore gave all six drivers three-place penalties for Saturday's opening race.

Guerrieri was the highest qualifier of the six, having been third-fastest in the first session, while Ehrlacher and Tarquini were originally due to start race one from fourth and fifth.

shares
comments
WTCR Suzuka: Ex GP2 racer Ceccon takes first WTCR for Alfa squad

Previous article

WTCR Suzuka: Ex GP2 racer Ceccon takes first WTCR for Alfa squad

Next article

WTCR Japan: Ceccon earns Alfa Romeo first series win in race one

WTCR Japan: Ceccon earns Alfa Romeo first series win in race one
Load comments

About this article

Series WTCR
Author Jack Cozens
The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement Plus

The tin-top champion who doesn't know the meaning of retirement

The news is out that three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is stepping down from full-time racing. But he's still got plenty of mileage left him in yet, and his son has much more

WTCR
Jun 16, 2020
The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats Plus

The phoenix driver who is at peace with his defeats

Esteban Guerrieri spent years trying to make it in single-seaters, and came closer than you'd think to making it to F1. Now he's forging a successful tin-top career, but it's his philosophical approach to defeat and personal growth that is truly impressive

WTCR
Jan 13, 2020
The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle Plus

The surprise team orders twisting a world title battle

Team orders in major touring car racing are nothing unusual with manufacturer honour at stake. But in the 2019 World Touring Cars title fight, one team is raising eyebrows with the choices it is making

WTCR
Nov 18, 2019
The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter Plus

The 'weapon' clash that turned a world title battle bitter

Emotions ran high at Suzuka last weekend between two teams gunning for global tin-top bragging rights, and little has been done to cool those tensions since. While that's great news for WTCR, is there a danger of both outfits losing sight of their main aim?

WTCR
Nov 2, 2019
How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play Plus

How WTCR's last real independent has stayed in play

The World Touring Car Cup has gone from strength to strength for 2019 - but one small team in particular is proving time and again that it merits a place alongside the series' big hitters

WTCR
Apr 23, 2019
The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history Plus

The lessons World Touring Cars must heed from history

The WTCR has made a massive step up in quality ahead of its second season in its current format, but as manufacturers start to lock horns is it already in danger of repeating other great touring car series' mistakes?

WTCR
Apr 5, 2019
A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery Plus

A world champion in waiting's tortuous path to recovery

Tiago Monteiro seemed destined to win the World Touring Car Championship last year, until a huge testing crash halted his charge. After early whispers of a swift racing return, he recounts his arduous (and incomplete) road to recovery

WTCR
Aug 9, 2018
Why a world championship made the ultimate sacrifice Plus

Why a world championship made the ultimate sacrifice

A rulebook scrapped with two-thirds of its planned existence remaining and the disintegration of a 'world championship' - yet everyone's a winner from one of modern motorsport's greatest acts of martyrdom

WTCR
Jan 9, 2018