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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O2 had already announced on June 22 that they had withdrawn their entries for the rest of the year after the row led to the team's investors and sponsors pulling their backing.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]
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits on pitlane prior to practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball go side-by-side for the start of the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay with an early pit stop during the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson exits Turn 2 during practice for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson waits on pit lane prior to qualifications for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates second place (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves on pit road (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves on pit lane prior to qualifications for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves heads down the Long Pond Straightaway during practice for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag as he races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with Helio Castroneves and Carlos Munoz on the podium after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the finish line to win at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
The damaged front wing of the race-winning car. (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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