Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan has been reprimanded by stewards for the post-race altercation with Mark Winterbottom at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
After Winterbottom tangled with Brown in Race 28, a clash which led to significant accident damage to Brown’s Holden ZB Commodore, Winterbottom went to the Erebus Motorsport garage to discuss the incident only to be told to leave by Ryan.
Motorsport Australia stewards investigated the clash with Ryan handed a reprimand for for breaching Rule B6.5.1 for pushing Winterbottom.
The report reads: “A verbal altercation occurred within the Erebus garage between the Drivers of Cars 18 and 9 and the Authorised Representative of Erebus regarding the first Lap incident and its consequences. A media camera operator was in attendance in the garage at the time and filmed the altercation. The footage depicts physical contact between the Authorised Representative of Erebus and the Driver of Car 18.
“The first contact involved the Authorised Representative using the back of his hand to touch the Driver’s left arm to direct the Driver towards the door of the garage at the same time as asking the Driver to leave the garage. There was no force behind the push.
“The second contact occurred a short time later and involved the Authorised Representative pushing the Driver’s upper arm using the open face of his hand, again at the same time as asking the Driver to leave, the Driver having not left after the first contact. The second contact was evidently more forceful that the first because it pushed the Driver of Car 18 off balance, albeit slightly.
“Rule B6.5.1 provides that ‘a person must not intentionally make physical contact, which includes any type of assault with another person, except in self-defence.’ A literal construction of that Rule would deem any harmless and not unwanted physical contact a breach. In our minds, a breach of the Rule cannot be established unless the contact was at the very least unwanted and beyond the bounds of social norms. The first contact was little more than a touch and was merely a non-aggressive means of conveying to the Driver of Car 18 that he was not wanted in the garage at that time. The second contact, however, involving more force, was unwarranted and went beyond the bounds of social norms even though it was not threatening and caused no harm to the Driver.”
Ryan said that he made an “error of judgment” and that physical contact was unnecessary.