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O2 had already announced on June 22 that they had withdrawn their entries for the rest of the year after the row led to the team's investors and sponsors pulling their backing.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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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]
Simon Pagenaud rolls toward the chicane during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud heads toward Turn 2 during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud enters Turn 11 during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in the St. Petersburg paddock following practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Francesco Dracone waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sets up for Turn 11 during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The Andretti Autosport team go to work on Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car on pit lane in St. Petersburg on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on track at St Petersburg in first practice on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on track at St Petersburg in first practice on Friday March 27 2015. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Steak n Shake to sponsor Graham Rahal in 2015
Scott Hargrove - 8Star Motorsports
Matt Brabham, Andretti Autosport, Indy Lights [Credit: Matt Brabham]
Stefano Coletti is strapped into his KV Racing Technologies Chevrolet on pit lane during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe leaves his pit stall during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud sits in his Chevrolet machine on pit lane during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe chats with his engineers during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal locks the front brakes up entering the Esses during Tuesday`s Open Test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones 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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