After 9 months of legal proceedings the Appealing Court of Italian Autosport Federation decided to reinstate the karting driver Martin Rump to winner of Rotax Grand Finals 2010 in Rotax Junior class, after he was excluded after the awards ceremony because his seat stay was deemed not in correspondence with the rules.
The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals were held in La Conca, Italy in last November. Martin Rump showed an excellent pace throughout the championship and won the final in an extremely close competition. However, he was excluded just 45 minutes after the awards ceremony, because his seat stay was not in correspondence with the rules.
The decision was unexpected as Rump used the same seat stay from the first training and the kart had already passed through several technical inspections. Actually the seat stay is just a stub of steel pipe that is not homologated and usually it is hard to distinguish the production of different manufacturers.
In Rotax Grand Finals the competition is held on brand-new karts supplied by the organizer and it is forbidden to substitute any details without permission from the organizer. While installing the seat Martin and his mechanic Indrek Viikmaa faced a problem – in order for the driver to reach the pedals, the seat had to be moved that much frontward, that it was impossible to use the original Sodi seat stay. As Sodi representatives did not have a suitable seat strut, they allowed Rump to use his own seat stay. This was the reasons that lead to exclusion.
Rump’s team considered this decision to be too severe and disproportionate and decided to appeal. The time was of critical importance here, but with joint efforts they managed to write an appeal, translate it to Italian and present it to the Appealing Court of Italian Autosport Federation within allowed two days.
The whole procedure was long and thorough; the court searched answers to all statements presented in the appeal. The expertise ordered by the court and carried out by an approved expert of Italian Autosport Federation was decisive. From the expert report it appeared that Rump did not gain any advantage from using the different seat fixing and the report also confirmed the reasons why such replacement was necessary in the first place.
Martin Rump: "I am very happy for regaining the first position! Many thanks to all who helped and supported me in this matter! Although I thought a lot about the appeal process during this season, I believe those thoughts did not disturb the current season’s races. I knew my team would stand up for me.“
Estonian Public Broadcasting also made a short summary of the appeal which can be found here. The video is in Estonian.