March 13, 2012
NASCAR appeals process flawed
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - The NASCAR appeals process is a farce.
Not because the appeals panel members are unethical or uninformed, but because they are auto racing insiders.
And because they were hand-picked by NASCAR for the job.
On Tuesday a three member panel upheld the six-race suspension of Chad Knaus that included a 25-championship point penalty to his driver Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team.
This is not to say that Knaus and the HMS crew did not break the rules, but that they have been denied true justice in their attempts to explain their case.
What NASCAR needs to do is what Major League Baseball does. MLB appoints an independent arbitrator — usually a retired judge — to hear its cases and the results are binding on both parties.
In NASCAR, Knaus and team owner Rick Hendrick did not have the benefit of such an independent body to state their case.
To put the situation Knaus and company found themselves in Tuesday simply it was like trying to defend yourself from accusations of cheating on your income taxes before a panel of Revenue Canada agents.
You are not going to get an impartial hearing there and neither did Knaus and Hendrick at NASCAR.
BERNIE BACKS F1 BUDGET CAPS
Here we go again.
Formula 1 boss of bosses Bernie Ecclestone wants to re-visit the idea of budget caps for teams in the world championship.
Ecclestone said that in an uncertain economic climate — particularly among European nations where F1 runs most of its races — the series must start looking at shoring up finances.
This is not the first time F1 has been faced with the prospect of a cap. Three seasons ago then FIA president Max Mosley was all but run out of F1 for suggesting the same thing.
Ecclestone made his feelings known in an interview with F1’s official web side where he accused top teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull of living in a financial fantasy world.
“Let’s put it this way: There are still too many people in Formula 1 running around with rose-tinted glasses,” he said. “They obviously like to see the world as they want it to be — wonderful, the sun is shining, isn’t life delightful — and not how it is. The downside of these glasses is that they blind you to reality.”
Ecclestone said teams must stop spending more than they have to and that a budget cap would force them to do just that.
“We have had this kind of problem for quite a while now as of course (big teams) spend what they have,” he said. “You could install a mandatory budget for all teams — on the basis of the smaller teams — but (rich teams) don’t like it and fiercely fight against it.”
Ecclestone said he would certainly support a cap.
“I would welcome it,” he said.
DELTWING LIVES TO FLY ANOTHER DAY
The radical DeltaWing race car that was developed in the hopes it would be the new vehicle for the IZOD IndyCar Series will live to race another day.
This time with the backing of Nissan at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans in June of this year.
The beautifully-designed machine will not be an official entrant at Le Mans but will race to showcase its technology that was brought to life by iconoclastic American racer Dan Gurney.
The rear-engined DeltaWing is half the weight of a conventional Le Mans car and has half the aerodynamic drag.
As a result it can produce a remarkable 300 braking horsepower out of its four cylinder, 1.6 litre turbo charged Nissan engine.
That should be more than enough to race with the LMP1 prototypes.