Toll HSV Dealer Team's Rick Kelly has been confirmed as the 2006 V8 Supercar champion after a marathon appeal hearing today. The appeal hearing, which lasted over four hours, saw three stewards once more review the incident in race three at Phillip Island where Rick Kelly made contact with the back of Craig Lowndes' car.
This caused Lowndes' car to make contact with Todd Kelly, with Lowndes and Todd Kelly spinning before Lowndes' car was struck by Will Davison.
The incident badly damaged Lowndes' car while Kelly's was virtually unscathed, the subsequent drive-through penalty given to Kelly costing him far less time during the race than the bent steering cost Lowndes.
The two drivers had entered the race equal on points after 33 of 34 races. With Kelly finishing eleven places ahead of Lowndes in the final race, Kelly won the title.
As with the Investigating and Prosecuting Officer's review yesterday, the stewards today decided that the original decision of a drive-through penalty was the correct punishment for Kelly's actions, and that no further punishment was necessary. With the results remaining unchanged, Rick Kelly was confirmed (again) as this year's V8 Supercar champion.
Unfortunately what this does suggest is that if you happen to take out your oppponents in this sport, then the governing bodies will take only token actions. It's a step further down the slope; the thin end of the wedge.
RIP: Sportsmanship, gone to join Nobility and Fairness.