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Probation for Rahal after Long Beach

IndyCar has placed Graham Rahal on a six-race probation, following an accident at Long Beach that saw Marco Andretti's car launched into the air.
The IZOD IndyCar Series officials have served a six-race probation on Graham Rahal for his actions during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach at the weekend, which resulted in Marco Andretti's car being launched into the air over the back of Rahal's.

Andretti's car flew into the air on lap 22 of the 85-lap race on the run down to turn 8 after Rahal appeared to pull out from his existing line in order to block Andretti's attempt to overtake him, something that is not allowed under IndyCar rules. The #26 Andretti Autosport car came perilously close to barrel-rolling, but finally returned to the ground right-side up and skidded into a tyre barrier, where Andretti was able to climb out unaided.

"It's one thing blocking but it's another thing chopping, and that was a chop," fumed Marco Andretti immediately following the accident. "I'm lucky I didn't get upside down, I could have been killed."

Rahal denied that he had made a blocking move and said that the apparent swerve his car made was due to the contact Marco had made to the back of the #38 Ganassi, which had pulled his car to the right before Andretti's car went airborne.

"By the rules, you're allowed to make one move. I made one move," insisted Rahal. "At the speed he hit me at, he wouldn't have made the corner. It broke my gearbox, that's how hard he hit me."

Both cars retired after the incident, which meant that any consideration of blame for the incident was postponed until after the race weekend.

"Due to the inability of the #38 car to continue the race, a review of the on-track actions of Graham Rahal became a post-race issue," said Beaux Barfield, IndyCar's president of competition and the race director for the Long Beach event.

"All stewards have reviewed the incident and have decided that the on-track actions of Graham warranted probation because of driving that endangers on-track safety and adversely affects competition," he continued.

Rahal was handed the six-race probation under rule 9.3.2 relating to blocking ("a driver must not alter his/her racing line based on the actions of pursuing drivers to inhibit or prevent passing") and also under rule 9.3.3 relating to initiating an avoidable contact affecting another competitor's track position.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Graham Rahal in pit road at Kentucky Speedway [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The field scatters as the drivers avoid the cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal shows off the his new helmet prior to the morning warmup for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal gets strapped into his machine before the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti sit in the Esses of Turns 4 and 5 after contact during the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The field scatters as cars avoid contact during the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Joe Skibinski  for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti looks over his machine prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media.)
Incident between Mikhail Aleshin and Takuma Sato bring out the first yellow flag of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Incident between Mikhail Aleshin and Takuma Sato bring out the first yellow flag of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The #28 Andretti Autosport team celebrates victory (Photo by: Chris Jones for 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)

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Phil - Unregistered

April 18, 2012 9:48 PM

Exactly Maxx - Michael's allowed to drive (as he usually does) like an idiot and play the martyr. It was his completely unreasonable maneuvre which ruined Rahal's day. A few years ago, we'd shrug and say he's young & impetuous. Now he's just a liability and a danger with his "I'm coming thru so get outta my way" attitude



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