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New qualifying under fire from drivers

V8 Supercar veteran Russell Ingall has slammed the series' new qualifying rules, claiming that they unfairly penalise those that struggle in the single timed session and no longer reward strong race performances.

Under the previous regulations, qualifying only counted towards the first race of the weekend, with subsequent results determining the starting line-up for following races. Now, however, each race is started with the field in the order of their fastest times from qualifying, doubling the penalty for problems in the time session.

Ingall, who has seen his fair share of rulebooks since joining the V8 series, has now urged his rivals to speak out on the issue in an effort to get the wording changed back. While many are prepared to join the veteran in speaking out, Ingall is concerned that other high-profile runners - including reigning champion and Clipsal 500 race winner Jamie Whincup - need to 'stop sitting on the fence' and add their voices to the revolt.

Cameron McConville was the worst affected in Adelaide last weekend, being restricted to a rear of the grid start before fighting his way through to ninth in race one. His reward for that effort, however, was to have to go to the back of the grid again on Sunday.

"It's an absolutely ludicrous rule," McConville fumed, "To get up to ninth then have to go back to 29th, that's a double smack in the head with a wet fish."

Those that qualified well but then ran into problems in race one - such as former champions Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander - saw the upside of the rule, which allowed them to start further up the race two grid than their race results would have done, but Ingall is canny enough to know that every driver in the field could potentially find themselves in a similar position to McConville.

"I hope some of the other drivers stop sitting on the fence - as they always do - and say something about this ridiculous rule," he said, before demanding that the system reverts to its previous form before round two of the season in New Zealand.

"I wish [series officials] had asked a few of the drivers before bringing in the rule. My biggest gripe is they don't involve any drivers in the category in these things. If they'd tried consulting a few people outside their circle, especially the people it directly affects, they'd probably have got a bit better gauge that it wasn't a brilliant idea.

"Cam McConville had every right to be angry after an excellent race one drive. He comes from last to ninth and has to start last again tomorrow.... that just sucks. It isn't right. They've buggered it up and I hope they're man enough to admit it."

McConville revealed that the drivers were considering forming a representative body, along the lines of F1's GPDA, to offer a more united front to series organisers and officials.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Russell Ingall, (aust), Supercheap PMM Commodore  Clipsal 500 Rd 1 V8 Supercars Adelaide SA
James Courtney - Holden Racing Team [pic credit Clipsal 500]
James Courtney - Holden Racing Team [pic credit Clipsal 500]
James Courtney - Holden Racing Team [pic credit Clipsal 500]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
James Courtney - Holden Racing Team [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Tim Slade - Supercheap Auto Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supercars]
James Courtney - Holden Racing Team [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
James Courtney - Holden Racing Team [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Tim Slade - Supercheap Auto Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supercars]

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