In doing research for our Best Qualifying Driver story, we noticed that the qualifying points for Daigo Saito and Ryan Tuerck were off from what we had recorded. In following up with Formula D, we were informed that both drivers failed to meet the minimum weight requirements for their tire class post-qualifying. This appears to be the first penalties handed out since the tire-to-weight rules were instituted back before the 2011 season. Formula D informed us that both drivers did make weight on Saturday. When asked about what would have happened if the drivers missed weight on Saturday (would tandem points be taken away? how many? etc), the answer was that there would be penalties but the specifics could not be determined.
We noted that both drivers were involved in crashes in their first qualifying run, and our photographer even caught images of both teams working on the cars between runs. Tuerck would have earned 0.5 points for his 23rd place qualification, while Saito would have earned 0.25 points for his 26th place qualification. While not a major deduction, this now puts Saito 3 full points behind Forsberg, and Tuerck is now 159 points behind.
UPDATE: Here are the current class weights and sizes:
Weight and Tire Classes-2100-2399lbs up to 240mm2400-2699lbs up to 250mm2700-2799lbs up to 260mm2800-2899lbs up to 270mm2900-2999lbs up to 280mm3000-3099lbs up to 290mm3100-3199lbs up to 300mm3200-3299lbs up to 310mm
We briefly spoke with Bridges Racing, who operates Saito’s program, and they informed me that their tire was smaller than what they are classed for, but they still admit that they missed weight for the class that was on their sticker on the windshield. This brings up an interesting point as it appears that cars are classed based on their weight, not based on the tire they run. It’s unclear if a team can request a ‘lighter’ weight class if they are overweight for what tire they plan to run. In this case, had Saito been put in the class according to his tire size, not according to his weight, he would have made the weight easily. For example, according to the
most recent weight classes current Tire Weights (as listed above), if Saito’s car weighed 3,050 pounds, he would be placed in the 290mm class. If he wanted to only run a 265 tire and be placed in the 270mm class, it is unclear if he would be allowed to ‘request’ that class instead of being forced to weight the heavier weight according to the class he is initially placed into. We reached out to Formula D for further information about switching weight classes, but have yet to hear back.