British Touring Car Championship boss Alan Gow has called for drivers to take responsibility for their actions after an increase in the amount of contact this season.
Subaru racer Ashley Sutton was sent to the back of the grid for the final race at Silverstone after receiving his third penalty strike for an incident with Colin Turkington in the previous race. MG’s Josh Cook was forced to sit out of race one after incurring a race ban.
The two are not the only drivers to receive penalties for on-track incidents this season, and series director Gow says he intends to put an end to unnecessary contact.
“Of course when there are 32 cars blanketed by just nine tenths during qualifying then it’s almost inevitable that some degree of minor contact and mistakes will occur,” he said.
“Some drivers are truly superb to watch in close duels, but many simply don’t give enough ‘racing room’ to each other.
“So we will keep issuing increasingly tougher penalties where it is warranted, but by then, of course, the incident has already occurred.
“The harsh reality is that it’s the drivers themselves who have to take sole responsibility for their own actions. After all, those are the guys who are driving the cars and making the decisions that lead to making contact, or not, with another car – not us.”
Gow also said that more and tougher penalties have been handed out this year than any season he could remember.
The subject will be discussed at next month’s team meeting.
“Personally, I’m in favour or ‘lowering the bar’ even further in terms of drivers accruing a race ban, along with introducing other harsher sanctions,” he said.
“I look forward to hearing what the teams and drivers will also do to help us remove unnecessary contact. It can actually be changed quite quickly, largely with a simple change in mindset and attitude from some drivers and teams. We will sort it out.”
Fans have welcomed the statement, but questioned the inconsistencies in penalties handed out.
Feature image credit: Caroline Rhea