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Ryan speaks out over costly failed appeal

EREBUS Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan has questioned the system whereby his team lost $10,000 for an appeal that was never going to be heard.

V8 Sleuth revealed on Monday that Erebus intended on protesting the 15-second penalty levelled against Will Brown for a driving infringement that spun Scott Pye late in the Sunday Gold Coast race.

By early Monday afternoon, Erebus had decided not to proceed with the matter, given Rule B7.7.1 of the Supercars Operations Manual prohibits in-race penalties being appealed.

However, it’s understood the $10,000 fee required to lodge a notice of intent to appeal is non-refundable, making for a costly exercise.

“We should have just been notified straightaway that ‘thanks for your notice of intent to appeal but as per B-whatever it is in the rules, you can’t appeal’, and then they could have just wiped it there and then,” Ryan said on the Castrol Motorsport News podcast.

“Instead, they did nothing and now they have taken our $10,000 – so far.”

Ryan explained why he felt there was grounds to argue Brown’s case, the penalty having dropped him from eighth to 11th.

“There were four cars fighting over the same bit of track and they’re all checking up and dodging each other and sometimes somebody gets turned,” said Ryan.

The incident. Pic: Fox Sports

“Pye turned across to try to get up the inside of (Cam) Waters behind (Mark) Winterbottom and then he had to brake and Will was right there on his bumper.

“Him braking is what made Will touch him.

“It wasn’t like Will did anything irresponsible or careless, it’s just a racing incident. But it’s not the way they viewed it.

“I had forgotten the rule that you couldn’t appeal an in-race penalty, which is crazy.”

He did admit to there being some sense to the inability to appeal, though.

“The way they must look at it is if we get it earlier in the race before our pitstops we wouldn’t have served it, so then you’ll have people ignoring serving it in the pitstop to make sure they get to the end of the race and fight it,” Ryan continued.

“So I guess that’s what they are trying to avoid, that people don’t ignore it and then fight it later. That’s the only thing I can think of.”

A comparable situation famously unfolded following the 2016 Bathurst 1000, in which Jamie Whincup had been levied a time penalty late in the race that cost him victory.

On that occasion the National Court of Appeal convened to hear Triple Eight’s appeal, only to dismiss it on the grounds that in-race penalties cannot be overturned.

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