Inside Revolution: Appeals and Protests
As part of the judicial process at any Motorsport UK-licenced Event, competitors are entitled to lodge a Protest against another competitor if they believe that competitor has committed a breach of the regulations.
Similarly, competitors have the right to lodge an Appeal against a decision, act, or omission by an official where they believe such decision or action has been made in error or the official has failed to act in accordance with the regulations.
Protests will normally be dealt with by the Clerk of the Course, while Appeals against a Clerk’s decision will be heard by the Stewards. Unless it is a Technical Eligibility Appeal against the eligibility decision itself, in which case the Appeal will be direct to the National Court. An Appeal only against the penalty applied by the Clerk can be dealt with by the Stewards. Any further Appeals against a decision of the Stewards will also be heard by the National Court.
While Protests and Appeals are not particularly common in motorsport, they are a mechanism which Competitors are entitled to utilise (subject to certain restrictions) where they consider something inappropriate has occurred, or if they have been unfairly treated. A fee or deposit is payable for lodging a Protest or Appeal, but this will normally be refunded if the Competitor’s case is upheld.
As most Competitors will never have lodged a Protest or Appeal, they may not be familiar with the process for doing so. The process is, in the main, logical, and not unduly complicated, but it is important that the correct steps are followed if such a Protest or Appeal is to be fully considered. An incorrectly framed Protest or Appeal can be rejected, and the fee forfeited.
As part of their training Motorsport UK licensed officials are advised that they should not provide advice to competitors on how to go about submitting a Protest or an Appeal. This is not because officials want to appear unhelpful, or because they wish to discourage the lodging of such challenges. It is simply that if they provide, in good faith, advice which is followed, but then subsequently turns out to have been incorrect, the competitor may unwittingly forfeit their rights in that case.
Those who receive Protests or Appeals for consideration will, in fairness to all parties, expect the competitor to know the correct process and to have followed it and are unlikely to waive the requirements for due procedure on the basis of incorrect advice having been given.
All the relevant procedures are set out in detail within the General Regulations in the Motorsport UK Yearbook. Protests are covered in Chapter C.5, while Appeals to the Stewards are in Chapter C.6 and Appeals to the National Court are in C.7.
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