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CAMS appeal decision about Soutar and Hamilton penalties

The Formula Ford Association Inc. has been advised of the result of an appeal to CAMS lodged by 2019 AFFC competitors Zac Soutar and Tim Hamilton. The two Formula Ford competitors had received 30-second penalties for non-compliant apparel at the end of race 3 at Sydney Motorsport Park last April. The following information was provided by CAMS as a background to the process leading to the convening of the Tribunal: Following Round 1 of the 2019 CAMS NSW Formula Ford Championship, CAMS received three letters of complaint concerning the severity of penalties imposed by the Stewards in regard to non-compliant apparel.

Having reviewed the letters received, the judicial documents concerning the infringements and discussing the matter with the Stewards Chair, the following facts were established:

  • Scrutineers conducted an apparel check in parc fermé following Race 3 of Round 1 of the 2019 CAMS NSW Formula Ford Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park on Sunday 7 April 2019.

  • Four Drivers (Zac Soutar, Cody Burcher, Tim Hamilton and Lachlan Mineeff) were issued Infringement Notices for alleged breach of Schedule D for non-compliant apparel by the Assistant Clerk of the Course. All four drivers were offered a penalty of disqualification from Race 3.

  • The alleged non-compliant apparel for each Driver was as follows:

  • Soutar – hole in corner of shoe

  • Burcher – FIA label missing from sock

  • Hamilton – hole in glove

  • Mineeff – hole in glove

  • All four Drivers admitted the breach but requested a Stewards Hearing on penalty.

  • The Stewards conducted a hearing on penalty for all four Drivers.

  • The penalty imposed by the Stewards was 30 seconds added to the race time of three of the Drivers (Soutar, Burcher and Hamilton) and a Reprimand for one of the Drivers (Mineeff).

  • The Stewards accepted Mineeff’s explanation that the damage to the glove had occurred during the race as he had corresponding damage to his hand, hence the lesser penalty.

  • Following the Stewards Hearings the Drivers inquired about appealing the decision but were informed by the Stewards that they did not have a right to appeal in accordance with the RMSR.

CAMS considered that each Competitor should have a right of appeal against the penalty imposed by the Stewards in this case as the intent is that any restriction to the right of appeal as stated in the RMSR should only apply to any breach of the Code of Driving Conduct during a track session.

Consequently, in accordance with NCR 222(iii), the CEO decided to accept a Notice of Intention to Appeal lodged out of time.

Two of the Competitors (Soutar and Hamilton) subsequently lodged an Appeal and provided written statements to support their case. The Appeal Tribunal responsible for this matter ruled their decision earlier last week, setting aside the original penalties received by Zac Soutar and Tim Hamilton and imposed an alternate penalty of a reprimand on both drivers. This decision modifies the results of race 3 of round 1 of the 2019 Australian Formula Ford Championship and, consequently, the championship standings. As a result of this decision, the following results apply to round 1 of the 2019 Australian Formula Ford Championship and to the championship standings in general:

  • Zac Soutar finished 2nd for the round, with 50 points. Soutar also sits in second position in the 2019 Australian Formula Ford Championship standings, 11 points behind Angelo Mouzouris.

  • Tim Hamilton won the round in the FF1600 class, ahead of Jarrod Costello and John Pereira. Hamilton leads the 2019 Australian FF1600 Championship 15 points clear of Jarrod Costello.

Australian Formula Ford will be back at Wakefield Park for the penultimate round of the 2019 campaign on September 6-8, while the FF1600 competitors will re-join the field for the season finale at Phillip Island on September 27-29. For any further information regarding this news or Formula Ford in general, please contact our category administrator on 0422 840 300.

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