Sebastien Ogier's appeal against a four point Power Stage penalty at the Rally of Mexico has been dismissed by the FIA. Just after the start of Rally Portugal, the FIA’s Court of Appeal announced why they had rejected the Appeal against the arbitrary imposition on Sebastien Ogier of a 10 second penalty for touching a chicane during the Mexico Rally’s Power Stage. The effect of this penalty was to deny Ogier supplemental Drivers’ Championship points.
Sebastien Ogier Rally Mexico penalty

Sebastien Ogier on the Rally of Mexico. Photo: Martin Holmes Rallying

On behalf of Ogier, M-Sport claimed the penalty was erroneous on 10 specific counts:
  1. the chicane was not correctly shown in the Road Book,
  2. its position was not the same in recce and the event,
  3. the construction did not follow FIA’s Safety Guidelines,
  4. no specific penalty was given for hitting a chicane,
  5. the chicane position changed from car to car,
  6. Ogier’s touching the chicane was not intentional,
  7. no measurable time advantage was gained,
  8. other drivers hit the chicane, but went unpunished,
  9. Ogier never deviated from the route by more than two wheel,
  10. and the penalty was disproportionate
Sebastien Ogier

Sebastien Ogier probably smiling after the FIA dismissed his appeal. Photo: Willy Weyens

None of these claims were disputed, but were individually accounted for or considered appropriate. Findings included a statement that FIA Safety Guidelines were no more than recommendations, there was no time to restore the chicane to its rightful position during the event, and a 10 second penalty was necessary because regulations do not provide for a time penalty below 10 seconds. It is noteworthy that as the Appeal Court findings were being published, drivers frequently impacted elements of chicanes on the Rally of Portugal downtown stage and were not penalised .....
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