Honda withdraws WTCC Thailand exclusion appeal
"Insufficient evidence would result in the appeal being rejected"
The Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team has withdrawn its appeal against Tiago Monteiro’s exclusion from the second WTCC Race of Thailand.
Monteiro thought he had claimed his third victory of the season in race two at the Chang International Circuit on 1 November only for the FIA Stewards, having received a report from the FIA Technical Delegate, to determine a breach of the rules due to the left-hand side of the Portuguese driver’s Civic WTCC being found to be below the required minimum ground clearance of 60 millimetres.
The following day, the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team, through its official entrant Honda Racing Team JAS, lodged an appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal, which had been due to convene in the French capital today (23 November) to consider the case.
However, a subsequent statement issued by the squad confirmed the appeal would no longer be going ahead: “The Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team has confirmed its decision to withdraw appeal following exclusion of car 18 from the second race result of the FIA WTCC Race of Thailand.
“In accordance with the FIA appeal process, the team sought legal advice in compiling evidence for their appeal. Despite evidence to prove the team provided full checks before the start of the second race, ensuring the car complied when leaving the grid (and the ground clearance was correct) the team were not able to provide sufficient proof as to how the fixing came loose over the course of the second race.
“Consequently, insufficient evidence would result in the appeal being rejected in court. Regrettably for this reason, and after consultation with Honda, the team thought it was more appropriate to withdraw the appeal in order to not waste valuable time of all parties involved.”
Had the appeal gone ahead and the court found in Honda’s favour then the ramifications for the FIA World Touring Car Championship Drivers’ standings would have been significant ahead of the season finale in Qatar this Friday night. Yvan Muller would have moved back into second place with a two-point advantage over his Citroën team-mate Sébastien Loeb, who inherited the race-two win in Thailand, while Monteiro would have headed to Qatar fifth in the standings as the leading Honda driver. Instead, Loeb tops Muller by five points while Monteiro’s exclusion means he’s currently seventh, 20 points behind team-mate Gabriele Tarquini.
More on WTCR