28 Feb 08
The Stewards of Rally Mexico have given a five minute time penalty to Sebastien Loeb because he changed his engine during today’s shakedown test.
Loeb’s car stopped on the road section to his first run, and his team replaced the engine with a spare. A subsequent Stewards’ decision, however, ruled that he should pay a five minute penalty for so doing - even though at the time Loeb believed there would be no penalty.
The Stewards’ decision came after a debate as to the exact meaning of the WRC engine ‘linking’ regulations, especially regarding when and where an engine can be changed without penalty.
A bulletin issued by the stewards after the meeting said:
“The Stewards deliberated the issue and consulted the FIA technical delegate, who stated that in his opinion, which he has mentioned to the Chief Steward, the change of engine after Sweden had destroyed the link and a fresh engine should incur no penalty as it was before the start.”
But after due deliberation the Stewards decided that this rally is the third link nominated by Citroen and applied a five-minute penalty.
Citroen has the right to appeal the decision.