Photo: SVW333 Racing

SAIC VW333 Racing team to protest against exclusion from Wuhan

The SAIC Volkswagen 333 Racing team are planning to appeal against their exclusion from this weekend’s round of the China Touring Car Championship, stating that it was simply a manufacturing issue in the supply chain which is why their brake pads didn’t carry the required markings.

All four of the team’s Lamando GTSs were excluded after the race when their brake pads were found to not be carrying the required manufacturing number which is used confirm its homologation by the CTCC. This meant Colin Turkington lost his podium result, with Rodolfo Avila, Zhang Zhen Dong and Yang Fan also losing their top ten finishes.

All brake systems in the CTCC are standardised, with the brakes built by Alcon in the UK, and then supplied to all the teams by Gusto Technik.

333 Racing will file a letter from Alcon to the CTCC organisers which affirms that the non-numbered brake pads are of the same construction, and do not provide a performance advantage.

The content of Alcon’s communique reads:

“We can confirm that the brake pads are homologated parts and are not illegal.

“On this occasion it appears the pads were incorrectly labelled at Alcon as a result of having two different product routings for the same pad; one calls for the full part number (PNR4489X***, the other only the compound JJ3). We can confirm that the pads are:

Correct friction material, JJ3
Correct dimensions, pad is to drawing.

“The pads marked ‘JJ3’ would in no way offer any benefit in performance over the pads labelled with the full part number; we can confirm they are exactly the same pad.

“Alcon apologises for the confusion and asks for the disqualification be overturned and the original results to stand.”

The championship parts supplier, Gusto Technik, added:

“Gusto admits there was confusion of the same brake pads being numbered differently and being sent to SVW333 Racing,” said Gusto Technik representative Alex Hui. “We can assure that they are 100% same specifications as the homologated parts. A similar case happened at the 2017 CTCC Zhuhai round, when one of the teams were discovered using a damper with missing part number at scrutineering. A Gusto representative immediately took action to explain and prove to the officials that it was indeed the same construction part with no performance differences.

“The scrutineer accepted the explanation and did not exclude the result of that car, therefore disqualifying all four SVW333 cars because of wrongly numbered brake pads, especially since the fact they are all the same legitimate parts, seems unreasonable”