Why van Gisbergen wasn't kicked out of the Shootout

Supercars stewards have explained why Shane van Gisbergen was allowed to take part in the Top 10 Shootout in Adelaide after a speeding infringement in qualifying.

Why van Gisbergen wasn't kicked out of the Shootout
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The Triple Eight driver was caught speeding in pitlane during this morning's qualifying session for the Adelaide 500 after failing to engage his limiter.

While he entered the lane under the maximum 40 km/h he then proceeded to exceed it by 6 km/h as he cruised to the T8 garage.

That led to a late scramble before the Shootout as stewards and Supercars officials debated what the penalty would be for both the limiter and speeding breaches

Jack Le Brocq, who had qualified 11th, was told by Supercars to prepare for a potential Shootout appearance in case van Gisbergen was tossed out of the session.

It was ultimately determined to let van Gisbergen take part in the Shootout and impose a financial penalty of $350 for failing to engage the limiter and another $350 for speedin instead of any sporting penalties.

He qualified fourth for today's final race of the season.

That decision raised some eyebrows, particularly as a strict approach to the rules was taken yesterday when Thomas Randle was denied his Shootout lap because he was a minute late leaving his garage.

David Reynolds was also kicked out of yesterday's Shootout for a technical breach.

Motorsport Australia has since clarified the van Gisbergen decision, explaining that a financial penalty is protocol for speeding and limiter incidents outside of races as long as there is no performance gain.

In other words, had speeding helped van Gisbergen's qualifying effort he may have faced a grid penalty for disqualification.

"The rule requires the limiter to be activated at all times," read a statement from the Supercars stewards.

"A mistake by the driver is not an excuse and the breach is therefore established and admitted by the driver and competitor.

"The use of the pitlane limiter is an important tool to protect the safety of personnel and officials in the pitlane. It is also important to prevent competitors gaining a sporting advantage, particularly during qualifying or a race, to traverse the pitlane at higher than the speed limit to gain track position or to enable a push lap when the time remaining in the session is limited.

"In this case, the incident occurred at the end of the session, after the chequered flag. No sporting advantage was possible.

"It is not uncommon for cars to be recorded as entering pitlane at much higher speeds than the maximum speed recorded by car #1 in the pitlane in this case. The penalty for such a breach in a qualifying session is a fine.

"The Stewards take into account the driver’s explanation that he believed he had successfully activated the limiter and immediately activated it as soon as he realised that it had not engaged.

"The stewards also take into account that car #1 entered the pitlane under the speed limit, the speeding breach was momentary (approximately three seconds) and the maximum speed achieved by car #1 in the pitlane is at the lower end of the range in which monetary penalties only commence to be imposed.

"In this case, the Stewards consider the appropriate penalty is a fine in addition to a fine to be imposed on the driver of Car 1 for the speeding infringement itself."

While there haven't been other instances of pitlane speeding in qualifying this season, financial penalties have been applied on a number of occasions for the same breach in practice sessions.

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