Free Video Downloader

Red Bull Can-Am fined for missed W2RC registration payment

To compete in the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship, teams were given a deadline of 1 February to get their entry fee payments squared away. Red Bull didn’t seem to get the memo.

On Tuesday, the FIA announced Red Bull’s Can-Am programme, consisting of Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing and the American Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, has been given a €1,000 fine after they failed to pay the remaining balance for their season registration upon the deadline’s arrival. According to the FIA, constant notices to the team went unanswered and the payment was only made when a hearing took place on 25 February as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge prepared to begin.

Under Article 3.3.1 of the FIA Cross-Country Rally Sporting Regulations, teams must register their entry for the W2RC before 11 December 2022 to be eligible for points, but can request for fifty percent of the required payments to be delayed to 1 February 2023 if they are fielding multiple cars in the same category. This proposition is particularly handy for teams who plan to race the W2RC but are focused on the season-opening Dakar Rally, which takes place in January between the two deadlines. Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team consists of the #301 and #302 for Austin Jones and Seth Quintero in T3, while Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing fields the #304 T3 for Cristina Gutiérrez and #400 T4 for Rokas Baciuška; although T3 driver Mitch Guthrie is part of the former stable, he is not a Can-Am driver.

Scott Abraham, team principal of Red Bull Can-Am and ally South Racing Can-Am, was summoned by stewards for the hearing on Saturday. The FIA alleged Abraham had “been sent emails on more than one occasion with reminders that the obligations he had made had to be fulfilled, but ignored all the reminders he received. Just ignored, not answering absolutely any of the emails, not a single reminder.”

Once administrative checks for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge began, the FIA’s Sporting Delegate attempted to visit the team about the matter but received “no feedback from the Competitor’s side” and therefore urged the stewards to look into it. During the hearing, Abraham changed his explanation multiple times, claiming he had already made a payment two days prior before adding he ordered the bank transfer of the remaining balance; when asked for evidence, Abraham said he did not have a wi-fi connection, to which the FIA noted it was at the same time that the Sporting Delegate noted the payment had not been received.

The money finally went through after providing Abraham with the necessary online resources. Upon being confronted about holes in his statements, Abraham suggested his assistant had received the emails instead, though a report from the Sporting Delegate revealed Abraham had also been the recipient of the messages. The stewards ruled the inconsistencies a violation of the FIA International Sporting Code’s Articles 12.2.1.C (“Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor sport generally.”), .D (“Any pursuit of an objective contrary or opposed to those of the FIA”), .G (“Any failure to cooperate in an investigation”), and .L (“Any infringement of the principles of fairness in Competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a Competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics”).

“Given all the facts, there was indeed an effort to be tolerant towards the Competitor, but this does not mean that the Competitor may not fulfill the obligations he has made,” explained the FIA. “Representation of a large team does not give the right not to fulfill the obligations assumed, does not give the right to tell the untruths to Stewards, to mislead them.

“It follows that in this case, the Competitor did not make the payment until 25 February, when the Stewards opened an investigation and the representative of the Competitor was invited to provide explanations. Although the payment was due to be made by the Competitor by February 01. This violated the principle of equal treatment of all Competitors and the obligation to comply with the rules.

“The representative of the Competitor, in giving explanations, misled the Stewards, told them untruths, which is considered to be dishonest behaviour that does not comply with sports principles.”

Ultimately, the FIA deemed it unnecessary to impose a severe penalty on the assumption that a repeat incident would not occur.

The fine was not the only drama surrounding Red Bull Can-Am on Tuesday as Baciuška received a reprimand for having guests from his sponsors in an unauthorised location prior to Stage #1, a violation of the Cross-Country Rally Sporting Regulations’ Article 49.2.1 (team personnel may not be within a kilometre of the vehicle outside of certain contexts like non-competition areas). A similar matter befell Carlos Sainz in Dakar concerning his son helping during a pit stop which ended with the same verdict.

In the three days since the hearing, Red Bull Can-Am is currently leading the T3 and T4 ADDC overall standings with Quintero atop the former and Baciuška the latter. Jones won the Dakar Rally in T3 with Quintero in second.

2023 is the first year for Red Bull’s factory partnership with Can-Am.

Source link