As the dust settled from the most successful event for the team since joining the Australian Rally Championship and after an emotional event prior in South Australia the team celebrated as they came in 2nd place at the event that started it all.
A gruelling 3 days of competition with over 350km of competitive stages came to a close on Sunday afternoon in more ways than one, the result had just sunk in when the compulsory post event scrutineers came to the teams tent to do their mandatory checks, unbenounced to the team within minutes the celebrations would turn to heartache, the official ruling:
Car No./Driver: Car #84, Mick Paton
Session: Post-event scrutiny
Facts: Car #84 was checked by the scrutineers at post-event scrutiny and was found not to have an operational catalytic converter as required by Article 6.1(a) of the Group G2 Technical Regulations.
Offence: Breach of NCR 183(i) – participation in a competition of an automobile found to be ineligible therefore;
Decision: Car #84 is excluded from the Event.
Fortunately after an appeal process with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), the decision has been overturned, and the teams result stands and they have been reinstated with the second place result.
Mick had this to say: “It has been a very difficult process to go through, from the elation of finishing a very tough event in second outright, our best result in an ARC event; to the devastation of being excluded.”
“The appeal process was pretty stressful and it’s a huge relief that CAMS have made the decision to restore us in second place. There was no performance advantage gained from the converter failure, so common sense has prevailed.”
With the final Rally Australia result restored the Repco Rally Team has now moved from eighth to fifth in the Australian Rally Championship.
A positive from the event was the performance of the VW Polo. After a challenging 18 months of development, the car performed well with the service crew only required to fix a few minor issues over the gruelling three day event. “I’d like to thank the many people who helped us through the appeal process and everyone who sent us messages of support. It means a lot to have so much support,” said Patton.