The V8 Supercar National Court of Appeal has ordered CAMS stewards to reconvene and hear the protest lodged by five Holden teams against the legality of the splitters employed by Ford team Triple Eight.
The objection was initially dismissed by race officials after it was deemed to have been lodged too late for consideration, but an appeal from Walkinshaw Performance - which runs the Toll HRT outfit - was upheld by the court, re-opening the row which began at Winton last month, when rival teams finally cottoned on to the fact that 888-run TeamVodafone had been using a shock-absorbing splitter mount.
Vodafone team boss Roland Dane claims that the set-up had been an integral part of its cars for the last four years, acting mainly to prevent the splitter from being damaged if it was to hit a kerb. While he claims that there is little further advantage to running the design in the protested configuration, the Holden teams claim that there has to be some aerodynamic advantage conferred by its flexibility.
The Court of Appeal, which sat on Tuesday night, issued the following statement to coincide with its ruling:
The V8 Supercar National Court of Appeal has tonight upheld an appeal lodged by Walkinshaw Performance.
The appeal was lodged against the decision of the stewards of the meeting at Symmons Plains Raceway on 29 May 2009 to not hear a protest regarding the legality of the TeamVodafone splitter mount and the decisions and conduct of the V8 Supercar category technical director (CTD).
The determination of the Court calls for the protest lodged by Walkinshaw Performance to be referred back to the CAMS Stewards for the matter to be heard.
The determinations of the Court are:
1. That the Appeal be allowed;
2. The time limit for lodging of the Protest by Walkinshaw Performance, dated 22 May 2009, be extended to 22 May 2009;
3. Direct that CAMS reconvene, for the purpose of hearing the protest by Walkinshaw Performance alone, the stewards of the meeting held on the 1-3 May 2009 at Winton Motor Raceway, or appoint other Stewards as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Rule A10.1.3.14;
4. That the appeal fee be refunded to the appellant;
5. Direct that the protest fee be reinstated;
6. Direct that CAMS give notice of this decision to Triple Eight Race Engineering Pty Ltd and inform that person that they have a right to be heard at the Hearing;
7. Direct that the stewards conduct the hearing promptly;
8. Liberty to the parties and Triple Eight Race Engineering Pty Ltd to apply for further orders if necessary.
As stated, Walkinshaw Performance will be the sole appellant at the upcoming hearing, despite fellow Holden teams Toll HRT, Brad Jones Racing, Rod Nash Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport being named to the original protest.
Category technical director Campbell Little resigned from his post late last week.