Emotion got the better of Sebastian Saavedra in the heat of the moment in the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit. Turns out emotion got the better of his wallet, too.
The Colombian, in his second full season in the IZOD IndyCar Series and driver of the No. 6 TrueCar Chevrolet for Dragon Racing, was fined $30,000 on Thursday for making an improper gesture – the “double angry birds” – toward a fellow competitor. Marco Andretti contacted Saavedra and put him into the wall at the outside of Turn 4.
There is a precedent – Will Power was fined $30,000 for the same offense, directed at INDYCAR race control at Loudon, N.H. in 2011. Yet interestingly, a dust-up between Power and E.J. Viso at Iowa last year where the two exchanged improper gestures, did not garner a penalty.
This offense is a violation of Rule 188.8.131.52 of the 2013 INDYCAR rulebook, and Saavedra can work off the fine by “by making a series of public appearances on behalf of INDYCAR throughout the remainder of the season.”
He wasn’t the only one docked. James Jakes’ Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry was fined a total of $10,000 for two rear wing infractions (Rules 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11). Jakes had his best weekend yet in IndyCar with a second-place finish in race two and two top-five qualifying efforts. The RLL team had also been penalized both after qualifying and in-race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the latter penalty rescinded by INDYCAR.
Jakes clarified via Twitter that the penalty was a post-qualifying, not post-race, violation: “Just to give everyone heads up it was a post qualifying fine not post race.”
Meanwhile Sebastien Bourdais and Will Power, two former Champ Car rivals, were each placed on probation for their dust-up in the Turn 1 pileup in race two. Power was penalized for improper actions toward a fellow competitor after contact during Race 2 (throwing his race gloves), and Bourdais was penalized for comments made toward Officials on pit road after Race 2. Power, somewhat cheekily, said Bourdais “once was a champ, and now is a chump” in his TV interview after the incident.