Stewart keen on permanent race stewards

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Three-time world champion Jackie Stewart has called on the FIA to instill a permanent Formula One race steward in order to ensure consistency when making decisions.

A proposal has been put forward to the World Motor Sport Council to introduce a penalty points system, and Stewart believes that this would only be a viable option relying the stewards making decisions are the same for every race.

“I think it’s wrong that the FIA have part-time stewards dealing with safety,” Stewart told Reuters. “It’s not correct to have part-time stewards who have just been brought in from any other country for one or two races.

“There’s got to be the same people all of the time so that there’s no risk that you are going to have peak and valley judgements that are different.”

Under the present system, drivers can be given reprimands, grid penalties and race bans (as received by Romain Grosjean following the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix), but Stewart believes that a penalty points system would only work with consistent decision making.

“It’s got to be unilateral, with authority, with expertise and that person should be appointed and paid for. If you are putting penalty points in, then you should be judged consistently.”

Currently, each race has a different set of stewards, with at least one being a former Formula One driver. The FIA is yet to confirm whether or not the new penalty system will be introduced to the sport in the near future.

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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