Panther Racing CEO John Barnes has been fined and put on probation by IndyCar after using Twitter to criticize the way the series handled the recent turbo controversy.
On Thursday morning, a few hours before a panel met to hear Chevrolet's protest against a decision to allow Honda to make a parity-based change to its turbo unit, Barnes tweeted: "Today is the day to resolve TURBOGATE! I hope @indcar [sic] gets their act together. It has been embarassing."
IndyCar has fined and placed Panther Racing CEO and managing partner John Barnes on probation through Dec. 31 for posting a comment using improper or disparaging language in reference to IndyCar on his Twitter account," said a statement from the series. "The amount of the fine is $25,000."
Barnes stood by the sentiment of his comment, although he conceded that he could have found another way to make his point.
"Nobody cares about open-wheel racing and the Indianapolis 500 more than I do, and therefor I'm very passionate about all the decisions that are made - right or wrong - that affect our sport," he said.
"I'm not the first person who has disagreed with a sports league or sanctioning body's decision and I certainly won't be the last to get fined for doing so. While my passion for this sport will never waver, I should have chosen a more private forum to voice my opinions. Even if we don't always agree, I respect the authority of the IndyCar Series and its officials and will continue to abide by their rules and regulations."
Barnes has the option to appeal against the fine.
• Don't miss the 20th Anniversary issue of RACER, introducing the magazine's all-new look with an In Focus photo shoot and technical analysis of the Nissan DeltaWing among its content-packed 120 pages! CLICK HERE to subscribe now at a special discount rate!