Audi has described the stop-go penalty that effectively cost it victory in the Fuji 6 Hours last weekend as "very severe."
Benoit Treluyer was penalized after he collided with the GTE class Aston Martin of Stefan Mucke, dropping the No. 1 Audi nearly 50 seconds behind the sole Toyota in the battle for the victory.
Audi eventually missed out on the win by just 11 seconds, and the manufacturer's motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich hinted that he disagreed with the verdict of the officials.
"I didn't perceive the fault for the contact in the incident to be as clear as the decision presents it," Ullrich said. "This is hard to judge. It was a decision by the race stewards. We were already punished by the fact that we had to change the damaged front hood [as a result of the collision]. That the stop-and-go penalty followed on top of that was, in my opinion, a very severe action indeed."
Toyota driver Alex Wurz said during the race that he felt Audi had been fortunate to be able to repair its car during a safety car period caused by the clash with the Aston Martin. The ex-Formula 1 racer also backed the decision of the stewards on his Twitter feed.
"I'm sorry, but I call the incident of Audi No. 1 a 'causing an avoidable collision,'" he wrote, having described the timing of the safety car as a "Christmas and birthday present at the same time" for the Audi crew.