Thompson warns Mallory Park penalties are "a warning"

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Thompson warns Mallory Park penalties are "a warning"

Post by Ben Atkins on Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:23 pm

In a press conference given before the first Sprint at Eurospeedway-Lausitz, Dean Thompson made clear that driving standards must improve in the Dash Cup series to avoid more serious penalties in the future. Over the weekend, Ryan Matthews, Justin Keith and Lydia McKenzie were all given penalties for intentionally wrecking, and afterwards, after the appeal of Altoros GP and Kassidy Evans of STS ATK Racing, Amber Clagett was dropped two positions to the end of the longest line after her Mallory Park win, stripping her of the victory, and in turn, stripping her of the UK Tour Championship.

The reaction to Amber Clagett's penalty was huge, and largely negative, including uproars from Ryan Matthews, Tony Long and STS ATK part-team owner Ben Atkins, who's car inherited the UK Tour Championship with Matilda Dillinger. Despite this, Dean Thompson credited the Dash Cup officials for their decisive nature on the situation, and said that the decision will not be reversed, ensuring them that they made the right decision.

"It was a tough choice, but they listened to the teams and made their own decision," said Thompson, "It wasn't influenced by the appeal. They looked at the footage for themselves and realised they had made the wrong decision in not giving Amber an immediate penalty. It's unfortunate, but I stand by the officials that it was the correct decision."

"We understand the frustration from Quinton Young and the other team owners but it was a necessary decision. If it was any other driver, we would have done the same. The call was consistent, as well, as we penalised Justin Keith at Toddring for causing two incidents, and we have moved drivers after the race, notably at Mallory Park in 2013, with Percy and Carter."

In the contrary, in 2013 at Vnukovo, Tommi Arjanien was given a warning and was allowed to keep his win after wrecking two lap cars that were impeding him. At Oulton Park, just the weekend before Mallory Park, Dieter Ziegler was given no penalty for wrecking lap cars that were impeding him while he was leading.

"We will be harsher on sloppy driving now. The fans are not here to see a crashfest and the drivers aren't here to get hurt. We need the drivers to improve or else penalties will be assessed more frequently and harsher. We will start suspending drivers."

Amber Clagett would have been 107 points clear at the top of the points had her EOLL penalty not been assessed, but instead she now sits 108 points behind Matilda Dillinger.

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Ben Atkins
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