Rickard Rydell confirmed STCC champion (again)

The Swedish Automobile Sports Federation, SBF, today confirmed Rickard Rydell as the champion of the 2011 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, four months after the final race.

SBF rejected the protest by the Volkswagen team that Rydell had passed Thed Björk under yellow flags in the final race of the year with the following motivation:

“The Legal Committee considers that Rydell was not close enough for (Thed) Björk to be concerned to be hit from behind. Rydell did not push his way past, but he passed when Björk had moved to an outside line and left the inside line open. Another three drivers passed in the same way when Björk kept his outside line with lowered speed.

“The Legal Committee believes that the pass can be considered to have been made in good faith and that Rydell thus cannot be expected to step back and regain his place behind Björk when it turns out that Björk continues the race.

“In conclusion, the Legal Committee does not find a base to exclude or otherwise punish Rydell for what happened during the STCC finale at Mantorp.”

Rydell and his main opponent for the title, Volkswagen driver Fredrik Ekblom, did as expected have differing views over the decision.
“Really good that the right decision finally has been taken,” said Rydell to SVT.
“This is really strange,” said Volkswagen driver Ekblom, who would have been awarded the title if Rydell would have been excluded from the final race.

While the decision has been taken, Volkswagen could appeal once more to the National Sports Committee (RIN), but it should be noted that RIN rarely takes up cases such as this.