The technical protest concerned a rear wheel assembly alleged to be out of compliance with Rule 3.22.h of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook:
3.22 Weight Limits and Weighing Procedures
h. All chassis ballast must be fixed to the frame. Under no conditions is it allowable to add chassis ballast as rotating mass to the wheels outside of normal balancing procedures.
In post-race technical inspection, the wheel was retained by AMA Pro Racing staff for further investigation where it was deemed to be out of compliance. The original penalty assessed included disqualification of the #42 and loss of championship points and purse for the Central New York Half-Mile following the issuance of a Penalty Notice.
Earlier today, the Appeal Board, which consisted of a non-voting chairperson from AMA Pro Racing and three voting members not affiliated with AMA Pro Racing and with no material interest in the matter at hand, heard the appeal and examined evidence presented by Smith.
After an executive session, the Appeal Board made the decision to reverse the original Penalty levied by AMA Pro Racing and restore the finishing position and points earned by Smith at the Central New York Half-Mile.
The appeal board has issued the following statement:
"After considering evidence presented by AMA Pro Racing and Bryan Smith, the Appeals Board identified a series of central questions:
Is the wheel technically legal according to the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rules?
If not, was the team given permission by AMA Pro Racing to utilize the wheel in competition?
If the team was given permission, was that permission rescinded according to the rulebook at any moment in time after they were given permission?
The following language in the introduction to the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook was a determining factor in today's decision: 'If any rule is unclear to the entrant or competitor, the entrant or competitor is advised to get written approval prior to any modifications. Requests for rule clarifications or interpretations must be submitted in writing by riders and teams to AMA Pro Racing.'
The Appeals Board has determined that, regardless of whether or not the wheel is technically legal according to the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rules, AMA Pro Racing officials gave Smith's team written permission to utilize the wheel in competition, and that the permission was not rescinded in writing at any point.
On that basis, the team was acting in good faith by competing with the wheel and, therefore, the disqualification upon technical protest is not considered to be valid and Smith's finishing position and points are to be restored."
The decision of the Appeals Board is final and binding on all parties.
AMA Pro Racing is committed to sanctioning a professional series with safety and fairness for all competitors as primary objectives. The AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook is currently undergoing an exhaustive review of language, policies and procedures in order to provide a solid platform for fostering competition on the racetrack. AMA Pro Racing will study the conclusion of the Appeals Board and implement protocols to ensure a fair, equitable and transparent process for rule-setting and enforcement. AMA Pro Racing will provide additional information on rules and procedures following an internal review.
With his points restored, Smith now leads Mees by 2 points, 221-219, heading into the season finale.
The 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track championship will be decided next week at the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile presented by Triumph on Sunday, September 25. For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://santarosamile.com/.
Timeline of Technical Protest and Appeal
August 20, 2016
At the conclusion of the GNC1 Main at the Central New York Half-Mile, a technical protest was filed by #1 against #42 regarding a rear wheel assembly alleged to be out of compliance with rule 3.22.h of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook.
In post-race technical inspection, the wheel was retained by AMA Pro Racing staff and returned to AMAP headquarters for further investigation.
August 23, 2016
The Tech Inspection and Violation Log was posted to AMA Pro Racing's website announcing the disqualification of the #42 and loss of championship points and purse for the Central New York Half-Mile.
August 25, 2016
An appeal filed by the #42 was received at AMAP headquarters in accordance with Appendix 5 - Appeals, Rule A5.1 - A5.3.
August 26, 2016
The #42 provided material evidence and witness list per Rule A5.4.
August 29, 2016
AMAP reviewed the materials in accordance with Rule A5.5 and made the decision to convene an appeal board (Rule A5.6).
September 13, 2016
The appeal hearing was convened to consider all materials presented by the #42 and rule on the appeal.
Per Rule A5.8, the appeal board consisted of a non-voting chairperson from AMA Pro Racing and three voting members not affiliated with AMA Pro Racing and with no material interest in the matter at hand.
The appeal board ruled that the #42 did not violate rule 3.22.h and reversed the disqualification of the #42, reinstating his points and purse from the Central New York Half-Mile.
Per Rule A5.20, the determination of the appeal board is final, binding and shall not be appealable to AMA Pro Racing, any court, or any other tribunal.
How to Watch:
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About AMA Pro Flat Track:
AMA Pro Flat Track is the world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/flat-track, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or live stream the on-track action on FansChoice.tv.
About AMA Pro Racing:
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.