Wiechers-Sport driver Stefano D’Aste was given a retrospective drive-through penalty of 30 seconds after contact with Franz Engstler on lap 13 in race one at Curitiba, following on from a similar penalty handed out for Special Tuning Racing’s Tom Boardman.
D’Aste’s 30 second penalty drops him from 15th to 18th in the overall classification and behind Franz Engstler, but has no bearing on either the overall or independents’ points as he was originally classified tenth in the independents’ category with points only going down to eighth, and with overall points only going down to tenth.
“When Engstler overtook me, I was looking in my mirror,” said D’Aste. “(Charles) Ng and Mehdi (Bennani) were very close to me, so I closed the door…It wasn’t my intention to touch (Engstler), but when I saw him come back (across) I thought oh – I tried to not touch him but maybe I missed my braking point whilst I was looking in the mirror.”
D’Aste was critical of Boardman’s driving early in the race, saying the Briton was holding him and the other three BMW drivers in the group up.
“Boardman was driving in a very bad way. He can’t drive in this way, he lost us too much (time). Mehdi wasn’t able to overtake him…and we lost the gap to the front cars, and so we couldn’t get back to them.”
Tom Boardman’s penalty was handed out in-race after Boardman touched Mehdi Bennani’s Proteam Racing BMW on lap 10 as the Moroccan was trying to pass Boardman’s SEAT down the inside at the hairpin, which knocked Bennani into a slide.
Boardman was quickly handed a drive-through penalty by the stewards which relegated him to 19th place.
“Every corner but one corner I was struggling, which was the hairpin at Turn 6,” said Boardman. “The Bee-ems because they’re rear-wheel drive they could get in a bit deeper, and every lap Bennani and D’Aste would just keep hitting me every lap trying to get me wide.”
“(Bennani) got alongside me, I was on the outside, I came across to let him go and we just had the tiniest touch and he’s just gone off and they gave me a drive-through. I just don’t understand it because if they can keep hitting me sideways at the hairpin on every lap, I don’t understand why I get a drive-through for the tiniest tiniest touch.”