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Team exits Indy Lights over 'integrity'

O2 Racing Technology has left the 2011 Indy Lights Series, after a row over technical inspection at Milwaukee escalated into allegations that the series has an "integrity issue."
O2 Racing Technology has left the 2011 Indy Lights Series after a row about technical inspection during the David Hobbs 100 Milwaukee Mile race in June led to the team accusing the series sanctioning body, IndyCar, of having an "integrity issue."

O2 had already announced on June 22 that they had withdrawn their entries for the rest of the year after the row led to the team's investors and sponsors pulling their backing.

IndyCar made this exclusion formal and irreversible by announcing on June 29 that O2 Racing Technology's series license and membership was being suspended until the end of 2012 "for attempting to impede the conduct of the event by encouraging others to breach contracts with IndyCar" by inciting other teams and drivers to pull out of the weekend's race in a protest over IndyCar's officiating.

The row started when two Sam Schmidt Motorsports cars failed technical inspection following Indy Lights qualifying for the David Hobbs 100 at the Milwaukee Mile. One car was found to have illegal oil and the other had illegal modifications to its brakes.

However, a follow-up review of the decision caused the finding to be reversed and the two cars reinstated, infuriating O2 Racing Technology's team owner and president Mark Olson.

"If cheating has happened and the championship adversely affected, then the championship has been compromised. This problem isn't hard to fix, but it's devastating to our team," Olson had said.

The incident sparked a huge storm over the transparency of Indy Lights series officiating and the integrity of the championship. A document from series officials at an Indy Lights owners meeting on Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile revealed 53 violations, with a variety of penalties from 2008-2010.

IndyCar - which is the sanctioning body of Indy Lights Series as well as the senior IndyCar Series - admitted that communications from their side over the matter had not been good.

"We've been poor in our communication with our teams, but have addressed transparency in the future," said Will Phillips, series official and IndyCar Vice President of Technology. "We now have a system in place for both series. We are 100% committed to a platform that is equal."




Related Pictures

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O2 Racing Technology driver Peter Dempsey in his car ahead of the Indy Lights Series Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2011. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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Terrific,the red neck, rodeo chup that is president & the whole series SUCK,S. It is nothing but a KIT CAR series with only one MOTOR, not even an AMERICAN ONE! The "midwest crack ***** mud fighting CHAMPIONSHIPS" in LlIZZARD CROUTH, Ohio gets better TV coverage. O2 Racing take your team to Sportscar racing. A.L.M.S. or the new series & GO WITH ONE OF THE NEW FACTORY TEAMS. T.I.D.E.ferrari racing, palm beach, the last ferrari to win class at LeMans & finish in top five. 81 LeMans 5th O.A. TIDE ch pozzi ferrari france. Robyn Lyle. SAVE the MIAMI MARINE STADIUM!



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