Bobby Rahal says the IZOD IndyCar Series needs to consider tougher sanctions for cars that fail technical inspections. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team principal told AUTOSPORT that he concerned about the variability in penalties for infractions this year, as well as their relative leniency compared to the potential benefits of using prohibited parts.
Dale Coyne Racing was fined $7500 and its driver Justin Wilson penalized five championship points after the car he drove to victory at Texas was found have a prohibited aero part, while A.J. Foyt Racing was fined $15,000 and docked 10 points at Toronto after Mike Conway's car was found to have an oversized fuel cell. The disparity of such cases bothers Rahal.
"The problem is, when you fine people for being illegal, if the amounts of the fines are different then it becomes subjective rather than objective," said Rahal. "If it's subjective, then people start to question why they fined him that and me something different. Especially with the fuel tank size and things like that.
"We [RLL] went through three fuel tanks to make sure we got one that was right. Had we known that you could get away with a bigger tank or whatever, maybe we wouldn't have done that..."
Rahal suggested a time penalty, or even disqualification, would be a more appropriate punishment for similar infractions.