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HomeNewsD’Alberto opens up on TCR appeal fallout

D’Alberto opens up on TCR appeal fallout

TONY D’Alberto is hopeful that positive changes lay ahead for the TCR Australia Series, despite his appeal of the results of Race 1 at Symmons Plains being dismissed.

The 2022 series champion sat out the final race of last month’s Tasmanian event entirely over the decision not to award points for the opening race of the weekend.

D’Alberto won the race and was poised to start the final race from pole position until a successful protest from rival TCR squad Garry Rogers Motorsport over the Race 1 results, citing that the red flag-impacted race had not hit the minimum duration requirement for points to be awarded.

At the end of the weekend, D’Alberto lodged an appeal over that decision, which was heard and dismissed by a Motorsport Australia Appeal Tribunal on the eve of this weekend’s Phillip Island round.

D’Alberto responded to the verdict in a lengthy social media post, in which he focused on the positives from the adverse result.

“The outcome from the Motorsport Australia tribunal hearing did not go in our favour, but that’s not to say that the issues that snowballed and turned Tassie into a major headache for myself, my team and other competitors weren’t heard or dismissed,” he wrote.

“The simple facts were that at Symmons Plains, we qualified on pole, won the first Race (which was eventually deemed a non-race because not enough laps were complete – fair enough), and finished Race 2 in a position to warrant starting from pole for the all-important final.

“Of course, none of that actually happened. A protest saw Race 1’s results scrapped and, effectively, the reverse top 10 race set the grid for Race 3 (which we learnt 15 minutes prior). That is simply not right, so I decided to withdraw.”

One of the points of contention surrounded the circumstances of how Race 1 was red-flagged and restarted in full, rather than being resumed.

An incident on the opening lap of the original start prompted the race director to suspend the race via red flags.

However, instead of resuming the race, as per Motorsport Australia’s Circuit Racing Standing Regulations, the race director elected to completely restart the race, which resulted in an 11m45s race that was less than half the 30 minutes scheduled.

D’Alberto’s appeal contended that the race director didn’t have the power to make that decision, something which the tribunal agreed with.

“I didn’t want to take this matter to a tribunal. I certainly didn’t want to sit out the last race,” D’Alberto said.

“But the simple facts are, my weekend was turned on its head through a procedure mistake that the tribunal agreed happened and shouldn’t have.

“As competitors we have to abide by the rules that Motorsport Australia outline. This is where the confusion sets in.

“Will we see change in the future? I genuinely hope Motorsport Australia and TCR Australia look at what happened and make changes for a fairer future.

“Lastly…. I received a HUGE amount of support, thank you to the many people who called, messaged, reached out over social media and offered kind words.

“If by taking the stand achieved nothing but force conversations on how to improve this series, then I see that as a win.

“It was nice to see and hear that people care – not just about my results, but the state and future of our sport.”

D’Alberto is back in action this weekend aboard the #2 Wall Racing Honda for Round 3 of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at the Ford Mustang 60 Years Race Phillip Island event.

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