Lukoil Racing Team’s Aleksei Dudukalo has lost his sixth place in the first race at Suzuka, after the stewards deemed him responsible for the incident which took Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani out of the race.
The Russian was given a 30 second drive-through by the WTCC officials, which drops him from sixth to 18th in the race result, behind Special Tuning Racing’s Réne Münnich, the last driver on the lead lap.
Bennani and Dudukalo collided on lap 22, although Dudukalo was ahead the Russian had taken an awkward line into the corner which left the door open for the Moroccan, but Dudukalo closed the door which saw the two cars hit, with Dudukalo’s SEAT propelled into an impressive slide, but the rear-wheel drive BMW 320 TC of Bennani came off worse with suspension damage and was forced to retire.
Dudukalo’s penalty elevates Tom Coronel up to sixth in the results and Pepe Oriola up to second in the independents’ classification. Oriola’s independent rival Norbert Michelisz also moves up from eighth to seventh in the independents’ result, gaining an extra point, but Oriola’s position change has gained him an extra two points.
The official first result of Honda Racing Team JAS in the WTCC will now change from tenth to ninth, with Tiago Monteiro promoted by one spot.
Also given penalties were Arena Motorsport’s James Nash and ROAL Motorsport’s Alberto Cerqui. The two drivers were given 30 second penalties for a false start, which drops Nash from 15th to 19th, but Cerqui’s result is unaffected as the Italian retired on lap 12.