DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – AMA Pro Racing announced Tuesday that an independent appeal board has heard and considered the appeal of a technical protest filed by Jared Mees against Bryan Smith on Aug. 20 at the Central New York Half-Mile, round 12 of the AMA Pro Flat Track season.
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:
– 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 Smith and loss of championship points and purse for the Central New York Half-Mile following the issuance of a Penalty Notice.
On Tuesday 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– If the team was given permission, was that permission rescinded according to the rulebook at any moment in time after they were given permission?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.”
With his points restored, Smith now leads Mees by two points, 221-219, heading into the AMA Pro Flat Track season finale on Sept. 25 at the Santa Rosa Mile.