Ford drivers penalized Marcus Gronholm and fellow Ford runners, Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Henning Solberg, Matthew Wilson and Gareth MacHale have all been handed 5 minute penalties after failing post-event inspection at the Rally de Portugal.
After technical scrutineering all the 06 spec Ford Focus WRC runners were found to have rear side windows not conforming to the regulations and as such they were each given a five minute penalty and a reprimand.
“The Stewards initially received a written report from the FIA Technical Delegate which stated that the rear side windows (right and left) of Car No.3, Entrant BP-Ford World Rally Team, crew Marcus Gronholm/Timo Rautiainen did not comply with the homologation form of the car.
“The Stewards subsequently received another report from the FIA Technical Delegate which stated that the identical windows of cars No.4, No.9, No.10, No.16 and No 23 did not conform with the homologation requirements also.
“The stewards then summoned the entrants of all the above cars to them.
“Car No.23, Mr. Gareth MacHale was not represented.
“The following were present: Mr. John Millington, Team Manager, accompanied by Mr. Christian Loriaux, Technical Director and Mr. Jost Capito, Director Ford Team RS, Ford of Europe.
“When confronted with the evidence that the side windows measured 3mm instead of the minimum 3.5mm, the Ford representatives stated that the windows, which are made of polycarbonate, are manufacturer by a reputed manufacturer who is aware of the requirement of homologation and furthermore has been making these types of windows for a number of years.
“The representatives confirmed that they had erred in not measuring the thickness of these windows before their fitment.
“The representatives further stated that a reduction of 0.5mm was really inconsequential as far as an attempt to attain a benefit was concerned.