A post-race review of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana by Verizon IndyCar Series officials has deemed that Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay was to blame for a late accident that took out three competitors including himself, and which resulted in the race finishing under a full course caution.

After reviewing all the available footage and telemetry of the incident in which Hunter-Reay made contact with Penske's Simon Pagenaud, officials decided that Hunter-Reay had violated rule 9.3.3 of the series rule book governing avoidable contact. As a result, IndyCar has handed the 34-year-old driver a penalty of three points in the championship standings, and placed the 2012 series champion on probation for three races.

The contact between the two cars had bumped the Penske off the track and onto the wet grass heading into turn 3. With no traction, the car then slid straight back across the track when it turned right at the next apex, resulting in a second contact between the pair which sent Hunter-Reay into a nasty impact with KVSH Racing's Sebastien Bourdais on the other side of the track. All three cars suffered major damage and ended up in the tyre wall, retiring from the race which then finished under the ensuing yellow flag.

An animated Pagenaud had immediately jumped out of his car and stormed over to Hunter-Reay to discuss the incident. The Frenchman also subsequently went over to talk things over with his compatriot Bourdais. All three drivers were quickly out of their respective cars and suffered no injuries.

"I'm not sure what Hunter-Reay was thinking there," Pagenaud fumed on Sunday. "He just drove us off the track and I'm just glad everyone is okay."

"It's certainly a racing incident," Hunter-Reay had insisted at the time. "I'm pedalling the car all the way out, it's loose, there's just no more room for him [Pagenaud] to be out there. Bourdais, is on my left, I don't know where to go at that point. I'm using my regular racing line. He stuck his nose out there [and was off the racing line] and just cleans us all out.

"I'm happy all three of us are uninjured. He said I ran him out of room, but there just was no room in the first place. I don't know what to say to that," Hunter-Reay had added. "But there wasn't a whole lot of room there to begin with."

"I was on the inside and Ryan came up and made it three wide with Simon," Bourdais told the media afterwards. "Ryan pushed Simon into the grass, he then came back on track with no control and could not avoid collecting me ending our race. It was never going to be a good day, but now with the damage to the car it is a shame because this was going to be my Indy 500 car."

Hunter-Reay's penalty was one of a number announced by IndyCar on Wednesday. The others included a $10,000 fine and six race probation for Francesco Dracone of Dale Coyne Racing, who spun on pit lane and knocked down the team's chief mechanic Todd Phillips who was working as a tyre changer on Dracone's car. Phillips needed treatment in the in-field care centre for a nasty cut to the lower right leg. Dracone's penalty was levied as a breach of rule of the series regulations governing contact with personnel.

An unnamed DCR crew member was also fined $500 for violating Rule (f), refuelling a car without their visor down. There was a similar $500 fine for a KVSH Racing crew member being over the pit wall without a helmet, a breach of rule (g), and an Andretti Autosport crew member received a matching fine for violating rule 7.9.6 (failure to attend tire during pit stop) and rule 7.9.11 (equipment must remain in assigned pit).

Finally, Andretti Autosport driver Marco Andretti was fined $500 for not keeping his helmet visor down during a pit stop, something that the drivers had been expressly told to do during the competition meeting earlier in the day which put him in violation of rule

The official announcement from IndyCar included a reminder that all those penalised had the right to contest the imposition of the penalty pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.



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