Wow, after reading the official D1GP USA statement about the D1GP Chicago event it makes Team Orange look even more out of hand. Apparently according to the PR sent out by Rich Goodwin Tanaka even injured a course worker in the process of “hissy fit.” Here is the quote from the release,
One of our pit workers was standing in front of Tanaka’s car with his arm out and hand up signaling to him to not move forward trying to get Tanaka to turn around and go back to his pit position. It was about this time Tanaka was informed of the Wang victory. Believing that the original call the run earlier was for a OMT, Tanaka and Team Orange then went berserk. Tanaka then pressed his car against the course workers leg and proceeded to continually rev his engine. Team Orange’s mechanic then slapped the course workers arm (he had up signaling Tanaka to not move forward) in an attempt to get him to put his arm down. This slap of the course workers arm was repeated no less than 3 times before the race starter told his course worker to get out of the way. At this time Tanaka hit the gas and performed a wheel spin (burnout) thus spinning the car around in obvious defiance over the decision by the judges and his team’s misunderstanding. As he did this he reached out of the car and gave everyone and obscene gesture, but as he was doing this he also clipped our race starter’s knee with his rear bumper and ran over his foot. An injury that required the EMT’s to assist our starter with his injuries.
We removed quite a bit of information between here in the end of the statement but you can read it all via a .pdf at the end of the post. Below we skip to Rich Goodwin’s statement and ruling on the matter. It calls for a season suspension of Kazuhiro Tanaka, stripping of season points, and a $10,000 fine! Kumakubo is fined $5,000 and was stripped of his points that he earned up to the top four forfeit in Chicago only. The mechanic who slapped the course worker is fined $2,500 for his actions. This brings a fine total to $17,500 for Team Orange. Something tells me we won’t be seeing them in D1GP USA anytime soon. Here is the official D1GP USA statement on the fine structure/ruling.
D1GP USA’s mission in 2009 was to produce the most unbiased and fair competition possible. It is this mission that allows us to not see nationality, experience, celebrity or the difference between a heavily sponsored team or privateer, but rather to see every driver on the same level.
We understand that Team Orange is the most famous drift team in the world and its drivers regarded as some of the best drivers there are, however that does not give them the right to expect to be treated differently and does not give them the right to act the way they did at this event, therefore the following penalties are imposed.
The Penalties in this matter are as follows:
1) Kazuhiro Tanaka – Fine of $10,000 & loss of series points & suspension for the rest of the D1GP USA season.
2) Nobushige Kumakubo – Fine of $5,000 & loss of event points in Chicago
3) Team Orange – As a result of the team mechanic’s actions, an additional $2,500 fine
There has also many been many rumors surfacing regarding Ken Nomura’s conduct at the Chicago event. Thus far our investigation into the matter is not complete. We will continue to investigate and make a ruling later next week.