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Author Topic: Stiffer Penalties
Motor City Hamilton
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Isn't this what we've all been asking for? From the September Fast Track.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF APPEALS
Laurence Kim Wilcox vs. SOM COA Ref. No. COA 10-08-NP
July 15, 2010
FACTS IN BRIEF
On June 23, 2010, following the Group 7 race at the “Sunoco” Double Regional held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Laurence
Kim Wilcox, driver of Spec Miata T # 62, refused to allow disassembly and inspection of his car per directive from the Chief
Steward, resulting in the filing of a Request for Action (RFA). The Stewards of the Meeting (SOM) Bill Blake, Bob Hatcher, Stan
Laskin, and Richard Templeton, Chairman, met, reviewed evidence and testimony, and determined Mr. Wilcox was in violation
of GCR 7.4.D. (Refusing to allow teardown in Mechanical Protest, Request for Action or Chief Steward’s Action) In accordance
with the GCR, the SOM suspended Mr. Wilcox’s competition license for six (6) months, fined him $250.00, and assessed six (6)
penalty points against his license. Mr. Wilcox appealed the SOM decision.
DATES OF THE COURT
The SCCA Court of Appeals (COA) Jack Marr, Rick Mitchell, and Jack Hanifan, Chairman, met on July 8, 2010 and July 15, 2010
to hear, review, and render a decision on the appeal. Michael West, SOM Chairman, was unavailable for the hearings.
DOCUMENTS AND OTHER EVIDENCE RECEIVED AND REVIEWED
1. Appeal from Laurence Kim Wilcox received on June 22, 2010.
2. Official Observer’s Report and related documents received July 2, 2010.
3. E-mail statement from Richard Templeton, received July 5, 2010.
4. Laurence Kim Wilcox’s competition license and $250.00 remittance received July 12, 2010
FINDINGS
The Chief Steward had ordered mechanical compliance inspections for certain car classes. All competitors were notified at
registration that the Compliance Inspection List was posted and available for review at Registration and at Impound.
Mr. Wilcox willfully refused to allow disassembly and inspection of his car per directive from the Chief Steward. The Scrutineers
and SOM fully explained the procedure and what would happen if he did not comply. His willful failure to comply automatically
invoked the penalties set forth in GCR 7.4.D. (Automatic Penalties).
Mr. Wilcox submitted no new evidence to support his assertion that the penalty was too harsh and the process was not fair.
DECISION
The Court of Appeals upholds the decision of the SOM. Mr. Wilcox’s appeal is not well

John Nesbitt
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That isn't a stiffer penalty. That penalty is what the GCR mandates for refusing to allow inspection. In fact, 7.4.D additionally mandates event disqualification.

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Really curious as to why Kim would decline the tech inspection - maybe Kim can offer an explanation.

--------------------
Danny
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I can't say I would be particularly enthused about tearing my car down at a regional when all that's on the line is a crappy trophy. If there was a protest involved then OK, but a random teardown just because we can, no thanks.

To Mr. Wilcox - there are other clubs to race with.

(I love the 'willfully' modifier, I guess that's worse then just regular refusing)

-Denny

John Nesbitt
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What is unstated in the Court of Appeals judgement is whether the teardown/inspection was called out in the event supps (as it is in the Runoffs and ARRC supps).

Absent that, the Chief Steward does have the right to order a teardown/inspection of cars. However, the Region must stand the costs for cars found compliant. See GCR 5.12.2.C.5.

Refusal to permit teardown/inspection triggers an automatic penalty.

Drivers are obliged to comply, while reserving their rights to compensation for any costs incurred if found compliant.

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by John Nesbitt:
What is unstated in the Court of Appeals judgement is whether the teardown/inspection was called out in the event supps (as it is in the Runoffs and ARRC supps).

Absent that, the Chief Steward does have the right to order a teardown/inspection of cars. However, the Region must stand the costs for cars found compliant. See GCR 5.12.2.C.5.

Refusal to permit teardown/inspection triggers an automatic penalty.

Drivers are obliged to comply, while reserving their rights to compensation for any costs incurred if found compliant.

John hit the nail on the head. What bond did they offer you? Was the tear down in the supps so that you had a chance to not enter or withdraw?

--------------------
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John Nesbitt
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Just to elaborate a bit, the Chief Steward has some right to conduct an inspection without posting bond. An extract from 5.9.3.C:

... The Chief Steward may
also order that a wheel or intake choke(s) or restrictors be removed
during impound for inspection. These inspections are not subject to the
fees outlined in 5.12.2.C.5. ...

So, assuming that teardown is not specified in the event supps, the Chief Steward may order any inspection, but the Region is on the hook for any costs inflicted on compliant cars, except as noted above.

My advice to a driver who finds himself presented with a demand for an inspection involving teardown is to insist that the Region have signed off on the inspection, but to submit your car for inspection.

So, if the inspection involved looking at taillights, to pick a trivial example, there would be no bond. However, measuring cams would entail a significant bond.

Failure to submit to inspection triggers automatic penalties, per 7.4.D.

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Good info John!

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John knows this stuff.

John Nesbitt
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One last point, and then I'll bow out.

The mandatory penalties for refusing to allow inspection (DQ, 6-month suspension, fine, penalty points) are far more severe than any normally assessed for compliance violations (or even blatant cheating).

The reasoning behind that fact is obvious.

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quote:
Originally posted by Danny Steyn:
Really curious as to why Kim would decline the tech inspection - maybe Kim can offer an explanation.

They asked for a starter... about 10 minutes worth or work. You can draw your own conclusions as no one knows for sure but Kim. Either he had something there that would be seen very easily with starter removed like a clutch or flywheel or he didnt feel like taking the starter out.

--------------------
Jim Drago
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Z-MAN Verified Driver
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I have to wonder what the penalty would have been if he was found to have a non-compliant flywheel or pressure plate? Just a DQ and some points probably and only guys that would have known are the locals now we all know...

I also wonder if they ask for a starter... Can you jack up the car, remove the starter (without opening the hood), lower the car and provide the starter? Or did they say remove the starter so we can inspect the flywheel and pressure plate?

If it was a fishing expedition to find out if he had a non-compliant flywheel/pressure plate why not just say in the inspection requirement: Inspect flywheel and pressure plate?

A starter is a weird thing to tech IMO... Well unless someone has figured out a way to install a KERS type system on a Miata through the starter hole [Roll Eyes]

I mean I know there is nearly as much development going on as F1 but a tech on a starter come on... May as well tech socks or gloves... Gonna get more DQ's then checking a starter...

MZ

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All competitors were notified at
registration that the Compliance Inspection List was posted and available for review at Registration and at Impound.


With this being the case why participate in the event if you know you won't teardown?

--------------------
All this has happened before, and will happen again

EMI
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May as well tech socks or gloves... Gonna get more DQ's then checking a starter...

Mid Div checked socks twice this year!

--------------------
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Scottie
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just my 2 cents, and a possibility. But the starter may have been one with a little more cranking power in the case of having a higher compression in the motor... But that is most likely not true at all. Just a possibility.

--------------------
How do I fit this ls7 into my mia... nevermind.

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
quote:
Originally posted by Danny Steyn:
Really curious as to why Kim would decline the tech inspection - maybe Kim can offer an explanation.

They asked for a starter... about 10 minutes worth or work. You can draw your own conclusions as no one knows for sure but Kim. Either he had something there that would be seen very easily with starter removed like a clutch or flywheel or he didnt feel like taking the starter out.
About 10 of us had to pull various bits and pieces including starters. It's not 10 mins for a hack like me but even I did it without bleeding.

Let's not beat around the bush: it's pretty obvious why he didn't pull the starter. He also wasn't the only one to leave the impound without performing the requested work but he had less tact.

--------------------
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Wow, others left impound without teardown and took the 6 month suspension? Not sure what the basis for appeal was, all appealing did was broadcast this to the world.

--------------------
All this has happened before, and will happen again

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I beleive we had one guy,(no names) refuse, talk his way out that evening, start from last for Sundays race and finish 6th with the 2nd fastest lap time on 1:47.06.
At least that's what I heard.

J~

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Starter is pulled not to tech the starter, but rather to put a boroscope and/or magnet in the hole to check the clutch and flywheel for compliance.

They did that this weekend at the NorCal NASA spec miata races, also.

Top 4 checked - all OK.

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
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George Munson Verified Driver
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In this day of very little tech I for one am glad to this type of checking. It keeps everyone in line. I'm not speaking of this case but there are a lot of fast cars that only do regional races. It makes you wonder. [thumbsup]

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Lance Snyder:
Wow, others left impound without teardown and took the 6 month suspension? Not sure what the basis for appeal was, all appealing did was broadcast this to the world.

No, no, Vodden used the "I have another run group to prep for" line and was permitted to leave under the agreement he would return. Which he did not.

I believe that is a legitimate excuse to skip an inspection so that a competitor can make their next group. Whether or not a similar penalty should be enforced for evading the inspection is a separate matter.

--------------------
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Brian, I agree that is legitimate. What is not is the fact he was expected to return and did not, that is an issue that needs to be addressed.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

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From what I understand talking to Kim is that
the difference between Dave's and Kim's penalty was Dave came back and he was told it was to late and was allowed to take his car. Kim found out what they told Dave and just went and got his car without talking to anyone. Kim told me his argument was that with the boroscope they did not need to pull the starter but could use the clutch fork boot to check the same items.

Dennis

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[ 08-25-2010, 08:11 AM: Message edited by: tahoe z ]

--------------------
kim willcox

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6 months for refusing to teardown sounds fair to me. For what it's worth, here are the penalties for non-compliance that are to be assessed from a Steward's memo earlier this year. This applies in all divisions.
=================================================
Car Not in Compliance:
· Prior to the Race: if found after qualifying, all qualifying times are removed
· Post Race: a noncompliant car shall be moved behind compliant finishers and may lose points.

Non-Conforming / non-compliant car (deliberate performance modification):
DQ, Suspension, and probation; the probation is to include having the car presented at pre-and post-race tech at
each event for compliance verification.
=================================================

As for a deliberate modification, a DQ, suspension and probation are mandatory. Length of suspension is discretionary. Stewards in all areas are not following this and have issued "slap on wrist" penalties for deliberate modifications.

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Kim, Darin, Barry and Vodden's 1.6 car all passed the boroscope and magnet test this weekend at Thunderhill. There was even a penalty handed out to a driver who stopped right outside the hotpit to take tire pressures before proceding to tech.

In other words, they did it by the book.

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
NASA Nor Cal SM series Director
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dp35 Verified Driver
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The same 2 drivers mentioned above for refusing SCCA's tech at Laguna Seca raced NASA at Thunderhill last weekend. After finishing 2nd & 3rd in Sunday’s race, they were required to remove their starters in tech for a flywheel inspection. To their credit, they both complied and passed the inspection.

After removing his starter, the race winner was demoted to last place for stopping to check tire pressures just off the hot pit, on the way to tech. This penalty was in response to the protest of two unnamed racers in the class. The 4th place finisher did not seem to be involved in this protest.

This penalty was appealed, and was just reduced to a future grid spot penalty. The original finishing order of Sunday's race will be restored.

--------------------
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Why is checking tire pressures illegal?

-Kyle

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GCR states cars must be presented to impound immediately after race - not immediately after checking tire pressures (or adding gas, weight, restrictor plates, etc...)

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This was a NASA race so the GCR doesn't apply. NASA's CCR rulebook says that tire pressures can be checked before going to tech, but only in the hot pit.

--------------------
2010 SCCA Regional Driver of the Year
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Sounds like the winner was protested by two old timers that don't like getting beaten by a first year racer.

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i just don't get why people won't just do it.

and on top of that, it feels better to beat someone when you have the lesser car.

--------------------
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double post.

--------------------
Ridgespeed Racing

#51 J. Andrew Warren

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quote:
Originally posted by dp35:
This was a NASA race so the GCR doesn't apply. NASA's CCR rulebook says that tire pressures can be checked before going to tech, but only in the hot pit.

So, the winner went back paddock before going to tech?...If so, penalty is deserved. You can't allow the car to go to the paddock before going to tech for any reason. Heck, Vodden can change a tranny before going to tech...well, if he was so inclined to even return to tech....

--------------------
Kim

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Not back paddock. Stopped 30 feet inside the hot pit wall on the access road between the hot pit and the paddock (right by where SCCA impound is.

But, the NASA rule is that you can only stop IN THE HOT PITS, hence the protest and the penalty.

Dean

--------------------
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