TO ALL Showroom Stock, Touring Car, and Spec Miata Racers
If you are protested and get DQ’d from a race this is what you face.
Background: We had two cars DQ’d from PIR double, both cars had MIL or check engine lights, both were tested after the fact by the only test legal by the EPA to meet the standard in the GCR. The Appeal result was published in the March Fastrack without anyone in the region or on our team being notified. I asked the following questions:
Thank you for the response. Again, I request you re-open this Appeal based on several critical errors.
#1. The GCR clearly states in 1.2.3 "No revisions previously published in SportsCar will remain in effect unless included in the new edition of the GCR". Your referral to a 3 year old appeal certainly fits this case; there is no where in the GCR that refers to a MIL or check engine light as an indication of non compliance, before or after the 2003 case. This rule emission clearly outlines the need for this case to be overturned.
#2. The members of the CRB that I know have not seen the material I provided in this case. Your decision states a meeting with CRB members at the national convention, was the meeting with the entire CRB? Were materials relevant to the case reviewed?
#3. While the right to be heard by the COA is not in the GCR, my request to be included was in my cover letter. The COA obviously reviewed this item with the Club's technical staff, this seems one sided and not a balanced approach to a case.
#4. The COA comments in the Findings are in error, the data provided outlined the only proper EPA approved test for compliance to the standard, period. No where in the EPA ruling, which I provided in the last email states otherwise. Again in the EPAs own web site it outlines why a car with a MIL can be in compliance.
Given these items, I request you forward my materials to the CRB and ask for a new opinion and a change to the GCR for 2007. As a competitor we can not expect to have cars in compliance without the proper rules clearly communicated in the GCR.
Thank you for your time,
Robert T. Davis
I got the following Response by the COA:
TO: Mr. Robert Davis
FROM: SCCA Court of Appeals
It appears that you do not understand that the sole reason for your disqualification at the Phoenix Double National in January 2006 was your post-race illuminated MIL You have failed to present any evidence that post race the MIL on your car was not illuminated, with the engine running. Therefore, ALL OTHER ARGUMENTS ARE IRRELEVANT AND YOUR APPEAL IS CLOSED.
If you feel that the GCR is unclear, you should direct your comments to the SCCA Club Racing Board % Jeremy Thoennes.(Jthoennes@scca.com.)
SCCA Court of Appeals
I responded with this:
Thank you for your response, interesting tone with all caps, but thank you anyway.
You are correct, I don't understand, but let's review what I understand.
1. As the Senior Vice President of Mazda Research and Development in North America with 26 years of auto experience and direct operational control of Mazda's emissions compliance division I understand the EPA/CARB regulations. What technical issues I don't understand, I have direct access to experts and representatives from both government groups. These experts, web sites, and regulations directly and clearly separate MIL illumination from EPA/ARB compliance which is required in the GCR. I remind you the EPA has only one test for compliance and it has nothing to do with an MIL, and it is not possible to complete at the track
2. I understand as a competitor the GCR is the rule book we must all follow. I have asked everyone involved show me MIL in the rule book. Have you looked at the GCR? It is not there, I understand 2003 case but since 2003 cars have changed, classes have changed state laws have changed. If the MIL is the rule, great I can live with that, we have open computers in T3, I can change the logic to reset the MIL like other Touring cars but the MIL is not the rule until now due to your decision. You have created the rule not the CRB, which leads me the next thing I understand.
3.I understand the following as a member of the SCCA:
a Joanne Jenson and Anne Christan gave me great confidence that the COA would actively work with the CRB and myself to close this issue. While I can't speak for them, as an SCCA member my level of customer satisfaction with the court is VERY LOW. First it was requesting and not receiving dialog on the technical issues. The COA met with a few members of the CRB but didn't have the courtesy to include me or respond to my inquiries about the case. By it's name, the Court of Appeals, I assumed a fair and balanced approach to the case where everyone's word could be heard. Where everyone including the CRB would file written statements and dialog that would be balanced. I would have never ventured on this project had I known you would meet with a few members of the CRB and only rely on my written documents. I understand this behavior has one sided and not fundamentally fair. I understand the "A" in SCCA stands for America, your actions are not like any court I have seen in America.
b. I understand the COA made a mistake when they published the outcome in FASTRACK without first informing myself. I understand mistakes happen, we are all human. Given my position within Mazda and the care in which I outlined in my original appeal documents that it was important to me, the member, to keep transparency in this process, I am shocked at your responses. I assumed follow up questions and requests would be welcome and answered openly and honestly. I understand that is not the case with COA. The COA doesn't want it's process questioned, it doesn't want members to ask questions, it's doesn't want to challenge a few members of the CRB, it doesn't want to rely on any information other than the club office.
c. I understand in the world of email, all caps represents yelling. As a member of the club I don't appreciate being yelled at. Was my email that insulting? No one that proof read it before hand thought so, direct to the point and logical was my feedback.
d. I understand per the GCR the ruling of the COA is final and respect the GCR as the rules (per #1) that is why I addressed my questions to you and not the BOD. Don't insult me by telling me to send materials to Jeremy for the CRB. Maybe it is more appropriate for the COA to contact the entire CRB, isn't that where this whole process was supposed to start.
4. Lastly as a member and racer I now fully understand the impact your decision has had on our club. This weekend the Stewards at our race checked all touring cars looking for MILs and they did not even have a scan tool at the track. I understand none of the Stewarts had a working knowledge of the MIL or knew that they can clear themselves. The Stewards just wanted to disqualify someone. We ran three team cars all in T3 no other competition, in bad conditions but the Stewards read your decision in the case and wanted to make sure no one had an MIL. Your actions or more appropriately lack of action have put into jeopardy any Touring or Showroom Stock qualifying or race result until the CRB acts. Here is a good example, the lone T2 competitor, had a major accident about 3/4 of the way into the race. His car was heavily damaged but he was classified the T2 winner based on laps. Based on the impact and damage I'm sure his MIL was on after the crash, should he be disqualified? I guess so since, "all other arguments are irrelevant".
Robert T. Davis
To date I have not received any response from the COA. It is clear to me the system is broken. I have pushed for the COA to be replaced. My advice is to be careful if you expect the COA to hear your side of any issue.