24H Series: Open brief van Peter Kox
De Ferrari van de Scuderia Praha in Dubai
Zoals bericht heeft de promotor van de 24H SERIES powered by Hankook besloten om het Tsjechische team Scuderia Praha niet uit te nodigen voor deelname aan de volgende wedstrijd van de serie, de Hankook 12H ITALY-MUGELLO, medio maart. Dit naar aanleiding van de aanrijding van Matteo Cressoni in de Scuderia Praha-Ferrari met de Zweed Thomas Martinsson in de Ginetta tijdens de 24-uursrace van Dubai van afgelopen weekeinde. Martinsson liep daarbij enkele gebroken ribben op. De oorzaak ligt blijkbaar dieper: in een verklaring stelde de serie-organisatie het Tsjechische Ferrari-team voor de volgende race niet uit te nodigen vanwege dit incident en 'meerdere aanrijdingen in eerdere races van de 24H SERIES'. Peter Kox, coureur van de Scuderia Praha, heeft nu gereageerd. In een open brief geeft hij zijn visie op de situatie. Deze brief geven we hierbij integraal in zijn originele Engelse versie weer, zodat ook de lezers van AUTOSPORT.NL zich hiervan een beeld kunnen vormen.
Tekst: René de Boer (Twitter: @renedeboer)
Tekst van de open brief:
Open letter to Creventic.
Last weekend was the 24Hr of Dubai organized by Creventic and I started for Scuderia Praha in a Ferrari 458GT3.
We lead the race until approximately 11.30 in the evening, when my teammate collided with an other competitor and we were out of the race.
Unfortunately the other driver was injured, something we all wish never happens!
My teammate acknowledged that it was his fault and the stewards penalized the team with a 10 place grid penalty for the next race at Mugello.
However 10minutes for the finish they called the team manager to tell him that the team will not be allowed to start at the next round at Mugello... Quote: "Due to avoidable collisions during this and several races of 24H SERIES, #11 Scuderia Praha cannot join from next round on." A chance to get into a dialog was not possible as the race was about to finish and there was no time to discuss, however there was time to immediately put it on twitter and website..
The statement was a direct insult to team and drivers!
When I spoke later in the hotel with the Clerk of the course he assured me that he was not in favor with this decision, as he and the stewards already had penalized the team for this incident and for him the case was closed, correctly so..
Furthermore in the statement they stated that the series tendency is for amateur drivers doing their hobby, drive for fun. Saying, or deciding for us!?, in other words that we are not having fun...
Luckily could I make from my hobby my profession and do this while it gives me great joy and fun, something that everybody needs in his profession to keep going, surely in such a competitive environment as the world of motor racing.
The owner of the car for sure sees(or has seen..) it as his hobby and for sure wants to have fun during his racing weekends!
They clearly close their eyes for other teams/manufacturers who support teams in several ways including (works)drivers.
I have done eight 24HR and three 12HR races(in the Creventic series alone!) with them and got hit(not the other way around!) twice...
If you allow 100! cars( in different classes!) on a 5.39km track you don't need to be Einstein to realize that it is very crowdy and that incidents Will happen!, and I honestly believe that everybody out there is doing their best to stay out of trouble and try to have a clean race, that is in everybody's interest.
100 cars is a massive number for the race organizers and also there is, for sure from my side some compliance that not every decision flag or punishment will be correct.
There were 12! Code 60( full course yellow) + the incidents where there was no Code 60 necessary to retrieve cars from the track!
Creventic wanted to 'send a message' that this driving behavior is not acceptable.
However they did this in a way that affected a whole team, where as they could have(and this is fairly common) sanctioned the specific driver.
They punish a small team were there is no manufacturer involvement,but with commitment for this series, now for the third full season, so a small loss of revenue for Creventic, but a big loss for all involved in the team..