Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

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Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby mof » 02 Apr 2012 01:56

Poor old Mikko has had his first victory in a Citroen taken away by FIA scrutineers.

I see Citroen want to appeal - claiming no advantage in the incorrect bits, and exclusion too harsh. Good luck with that! Plenty of prior exclusions due to equally petty reasons, and not overturned.

Cop it on the chin, and miss out on points like all the rest of the front runners, who choked when Loeb went off. Souprally (sorry Rally2) gets Petter some undeserved points too.
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Re: Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby ChrisB » 02 Apr 2012 02:29

Several points to that, most of them my personal opinion.

But first of all: Note that the championship points displayed on our web site are unchanged as of before the exclusion. Before I change everything again I wait what is going with the appeal.

I believe Citroen could have a chance with the appeal. Or in a way I hope so. If someone cheats they should be disqualified, no question about that. But in a way I am sick of getting events spoiled by disqualifications for totally petty things! The turbo charger was an FIA custom part from a custom supplier, it is surely not Citroen's fault when a part the FIA forces on them by regulation is not legal. The clutch, if anything they had a disadvantage, and if you look how the event unfolded, there is no way this would have changed the results at all.

On the other hand I must say, if the clutch bellhousing is not according to homologation and if Matton admits it is a whole batch of supplier parts that have this difference and still are fitted to the car, then clearly this is Citroen's fault as someone in Citroen Sport quality control was fast asleep.

Cumulated I agree however, that the penalty is way too steep. I find it leaves a bitter taste for everyone to hand the highest penalty for such petty little things. Fine them or something, but throwing someone out completely for the colour of a screw just leaves an unnecessary bad feel for media, public, everyone who has followed the event, hence it can't even be in the interest of the sport.

lastly Mads Ostberg. It is nice and overdue to see a different face win a round. But looking how things developed this is quite likely going to be the only win Mads can get. Good if he can prove me wrong, and I have absolutely no problem with Ostberg. I just can't picture him being proud when in a few years time he looks back at his career and he is a one off WRC winner only because he got it awarded on the green table. I hope for Mads Mikko keeps this win and Mads will win another event in a proper manner instead.
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Re: Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby rv65 » 02 Apr 2012 05:52

Turbo parts can expand due to hot weather, so there should be some kind of tolerance, to prevent this from happening. If the clutch is not homologated, then Hirvonen could be excluded.
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Re: Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby RonSkoda » 02 Apr 2012 13:52

Crappy way to end a crappy event. Ok, to finish first, first you have to finish (legally) but Mads wouldn't have wanted to win in this way, and in fact I didn't like to see all the podium finish driving times 1m30s off the pace....
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Re: Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby ChrisB » 03 Apr 2012 11:20

@rv65: There is a tolerance for the turbo parts, but this tolerance was exceeded by 0.02mm I understand. Apparently Citroen engineers told the FIA several times in the past that this happens for the very reason you name here. These turbo parts are subject to massive heat and expand. Apparently Citroen engineers told the FIA and no action has been taken. Citroen themselves can’t act on this, because if they change a custom part supplied by an FIA chosen supplier, that all WRC teams have to use, Ford too, then it is no longer a custom part and Citroen is subject to disqualification. FIA probably needs to have a word with that supplier. But for all I said above, it seems obvious you can’t penalise Citroen for the turbo issue in Portugal!

@Ron: Yes, very weird event. The whole podium was at least 1m30 off the pace (even more, since Hirvonen was cruising, so much so that Neuville could beat Hirvonen on a stage he drove with two punctures) and as the dot on the i, all last stage power stage points scores finished the event aoutside the top10! Added bonus: In the crew Novikov/Giraudet we had the youngest podium finisher ever and the oldest podium finisher ever sitting in the same car!

It was a more interesting event than normal, but for the wrong reasons, an event that was more interesting, yet can’t be good for the public credit of the WRC.
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Re: Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby ChrisB » 03 Apr 2012 18:47

Citroen will not appeal after all. In the end someone could realise there is no Citroen engine in the Citroen...

http://www.rallye-info.com/article.asp?stid=10022
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Re: Hirvonen Exclusion from Portugal

Postby rv65 » 07 Apr 2012 08:32

I saw the exclusion letter!
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