2013 Caterham Superlight R300 Championship Brands Hatch GP round: Jamie Orton and the exclusion re technical eligibility

The published results for the Brands Hatch GP round of the Caterham Superlight R300 championship show that Jamie Orton was excluded after the second race for a matter relating to technical eligibility under MSA regulation C.1.1.5. As a one-make series, there is strict enforcement of the regulations to ensure car performance is equalised. DPR motorsport fully supports this ethos and the strict compliance checking that is an essential part of Caterham motorsport. For that reason a full explanation follows to explain the precise facts and background relating to this outcome.

The non-compliant part

After the end of the second race the Caterham eligibility scrutineer filed a technical non-compliance report in respect of the part shown on the right. This part is a non-Caterham supplied pipe joiner that has a boss to allow a Stack sensor to be fitted. On our hire car driven by Jamie Orton this boss was used to enable fitment of the Stack temperature sensor. This temperature sensor is solely used for displaying the water temperature on the Stack display to alert the driver should an over-temperature condition result. For the avoidance of doubt this particular Stack sensor has no connection with the car’s ECU which takes its input from an entirely separate source.

The Caterham regulations specifically allow use of Stack data logging and Caterham provide a full capability Stack dash as an option for the Caterham Superlight R300 race car which allows monitoring of key engine and car inputs during a race. The use of Stack data logging connected to the car systems is the only form of integrated data logging allowed during a race. Our view which the eligibility scrutineer disagreed with was that the specific mention in the regulations enabling use of Stack data logging allowed free fitment of Stack sensors. There are no requirements as to specific Stack sensors or the method of fitment within the championship regulations.

This pipe joiner and boss is highly visible and was fitted to the car for the 2010 season. Since then it has entered over 40 Caterham races with no mention of an eligibility issue during any pre and post race inspections.

For those familiar with the MSA process it is extremely expensive and time consuming to contest an eligibility non-compliance report. Whilst the technical exclusion of Jamie Orton from race two was a disappointing outcome it has no bearing on the championship outcomes and does not diminish his “First past the post” achievement in both races. For that reason, notwithstanding our view that the substance rather than the form of the regulations allowed the use of this part, DPR Motorsport has chosen not to appeal against the decision. However we have immediately issued this press release so that all those with an interest in this subject can fully understand what has occurred and that there is no question of any competitive advantage being gained. This is solely a technical eligibility parts issue relating to interpretation of the Caterham Superlight R300 regulations in respect of the allowed use of Stack data logging.