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HomeNewsGRM wins Trans Am disqualifications appeal

GRM wins Trans Am disqualifications appeal

JAMES Moffat has sensationally been reinstated as National Trans Am Series leader after Garry Rogers Motorsport won an appeal.

Moffat and Lochie Dalton were disqualified from all three races that made up Round 3 at Winton after a Motorsport Australia tribunal found GRM guilty of a technical breach.

The breach pertained to pedal set-up modifications on Cars #34 (Moffat) and #45 (Dalton) designed to reduce issues relating to heeling-and-toeing.

GRM was given permission to test the modification during Round 1 at Symmons Plains and they were also used in the second round, held at Phillip Island.

But it was Round 3 at Winton that came under the microscope because the time window had lapsed on investigating the opening two events by when the matter was raised.

An independent appeal tribunal found that the original determination had correctly been made; however, crucially, there was a change in the evidence presented, with GRM now claiming the modifications were not used during qualifying nor races at Winton.

Per the findings document, “The Appeal Tribunal invited GRM to explain why it did not lead this crucial evidence before the Investigative Tribunal.

“Mr Bracken, who appeared for GRM, explained that Mr Millard, who had appeared for GRM, had not appeared before a tribunal before and, lacking experience, he did his best by responding to the issues that appeared to be the ones that interested the tribunal rather than instigating issues for investigation himself.”

Mr Millard is, of course, GRM team manager Stefan Millard.

Moffat and GRM chief mechanic Geoffrey Marshall were both called on as witnesses in the case.

James Moffat. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

“He (Marshall) said that the modifications had been fitted to the cars in February and that the cars had come to Winton in that state,” read another segment of the appeal findings.

“The cars had conducted practice with the modifications fitted. However, before qualifying on Saturday, Mr Millard instructed Mr Marshall to remove the modifications and to re-install the original assembly and he had ensured that that was done.

“Going to the cogency of that evidence, the reason given in submissions for Mr Millard so instructing was the emergence of a degree of what might be termed “paddock chatter” about the modified components.

“Unsurprisingly, a team faced with such a scenario will decide to remove the potential for controversy. As a result, the cars ran in qualifying and in the actual races with the original authorised components.”

All this means that GRM is now back in the box seat to win the 2023 title.

Moffat and Dalton had dropped to seventh and eighth in the standings, but will now return to first and second.

The penultimate event, Race Sydney, is already underway.

Intriguingly, Moffat has secured pole position and will share the front row for Race 1 tonight with Nash Morris – whose father Paul had been a key player in the case having triggered the process when he raised concerns with Motorsport Australia on August 1.

Race 1 will start at 7:55pm AEDT.

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