As a result of an engine rule breach at the Bathurst 1000, Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat will start the Sandown 500 from the rear of the grid.
The ‘breach’ also sees the team fined $30,000 and disqualifying from the qualifying at Bathurst and the Top Ten shootout. Hence, McLaughlin’s lap record no longer stands but his win in Sunday’s Aupercheap auto Bathurst 1000 remains unaffected. DJR Penske released the following statement:
The engines used for the Bathurst 1000 race, in both Car #17 and Car #12, have passed all post-race inspections.
The engine in question experienced a mechanical problem during practice and qualifying. Following the Top Ten Shootout, we were granted permission by the Head of Motorsport to change the engine prior to the race.
We are confident that the build sheet for this engine indicated that it left our engine provider with measurements that were well under the allowable maximum valve lift stated within the Virgin Australia Supercars Engine Specification Document. It was also confirmed by Supercars that the control camshaft, rockers and all other components and measurements used in the engine were the ones permitted within our Engine Specifications Document.
The steward’s report confirmed that there was clearly no intent from our team to circumvent the rules and there was no evidence that we benefited from any performance advantage as the engine passed the Supercars power tests on their dynamometer post-event, returning results that did not exceed the Accumulated Power Number nor the Engine Power Weighted Average Number.
As the lift now measures a few thousandths of an inch high on a few valves, we can only conclude that either the engine wasn’t measured properly when it was initially assembled or the damage that occurred in the engine contributed to a change to the maximum valve lift in the forward cylinders.
We apologize to Scott, Alex, our partners and our supporters, and we will continue to focus on winning our second consecutive Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The team will be making no further comment at this time.