Racefan’s Ramblings

Collecting my thoughts, news and inspirations on Tech, Psychology, Motorsport and … well anything!! . . . . . . . . . STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT IN LIMITED SPARE TIME!

Craig Lownes appologises, cops fine and saves championship lead

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 11, 2006

Well the Saga of the Craig Lowndes comment is over! One of the nicest, friendliest and most competitive guys in possibly the worlds leading touring car series, finally did a back flip and stopped protecting his innocence and admitted to saying something stupid in the heat of the moment! From Carsguide.com.au;

craig-lownes.jpg

08 November 2006 THE following statement was made by Craig Lowndes.

“Following the inquiry I attended last week with the IPO, Peter Wollerman, in Melbourne, I today advised that I have had time to reflect on the matter and have entered a plea of guilty to the charge of having brought the Sport into disrepute. I also wish to further clarify my position regarding the comments which I made to the media after race three at Surfers Paradise.”

“I recognise that some of the comments that I made were inappropriate, and I therefore now apologise unreservedly to the Stewards and the Officials of the Meeting for any offense that I caused. I do not believe that the Stewards and Officials act in anything other than a manner that is fair, unbiased and in the best interests of the Sport and they have my complete support in their execution of a difficult and often thankless task.”

“My comments were made in the heat of the moment, but I recognise that is no excuse. At no time have I believed that V8 Supercars or any of the Officials that assist us in our championship are trying to manipulate the outcome of the series and I am truly sorry if I have given any of them, or our fans, any other impression. The V8 Supercar Series is the best Touring Car Championship in the world, and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to compete within it. Without the unstinting work – on a voluntary basis – of the Stewards, plus the continuing efforts of V8 Supercars Australia and the Officials, we would not have the series we have today.”

And as a result he has avoided an embarrassing hearing yesterday which certainly would have cost him most of his points lead. Carsguide.com.au also covered the penalty:

November 2006 Ray Kershler

“CRAIG Lowndes’ defiance melted away yesterday and a humble apology to stewards has averted any further erosion of his lead in the V8 Supercar championship. Lowndes was fined $15,000 yesterday for irate comments he made after twin penalties at the Indy meeting last month.”

They Further Explained the situation leading up to these events:

“He had seen a 101-point championship lead reduced to just 30 after Indy and responded unwisely to reporters’ questions about the stewards’ penalties. Lowndes left open the interpretation that the stewards’ decisions had had the effect of ensuring a close finish in this year’s championship. “

“While he clarified his statements the next day, saying he never meant stewards were trying to manipulate the championship, he was charged with bringing the sport into disrepute. After an initial hearing last week before the sport’s prosecuting officer, Peter Wollerman, Lowndes decided to fight the charge.”

“However yesterday, with a further points penalty possible, Lowndes changed his mind and pleaded guilty. He repeated the clarification of his comments but this time the statement also came with a full-blown apology. “I recognise some of the comments I made were inappropriate and I therefore apologise unreservedly to the stewards and officials for any offence I caused,” he said. Of the total $15,000 fine, $5000 was suspended and with no points penalty Lowndes takes his lead into the Tasmanian round of the championship this weekend. The races at Launceston, ahead of the international round in Bahrain and the season-ending Phillip Island round, will decide this year’s V8 Supercar champion. Lowndes’ main rival is Holden driver Rick Kelly although Ford driver Mark Winterbottom also harbours some aspirations from third place.”

I will post the results from the weekend, after the round tomorrow.

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