Leading team JHR Developments have been suspended from all Ginetta competition for the remainder of the 2017 season pending an investigation by the Yorkshire manufacturer.
The Derbyshire-based outfit currently run six drivers in the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship, including current championship top two Sebastian Priaulx and Tom Gamble, and two in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
They have successful track records in both championships, having won the Supercup drivers’ title in 2013 with Tom Ingram and the Junior crown a year later with Jack Mitchell, as well the Junior Teams Championship in 2014 and 2015.
The suspension is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga which started when three of JHR’s Junior drivers were excluded from the Thruxton meeting in May over apparent irregularities with the engines in their Ginetta G40’s.
JHR subsequently appealed the exclusion to the MSA National Court and were successful last month, with the drivers in question Priaulx, Matt Luff and Harry Dyson getting their championship points reinstated.
In an official bulletin distributed to the teams and drivers, Ginetta explain that their top priority is “safeguarding the good sportsmanship that underpins our championships” and that they “do not feel the MSA National Court’s findings were sufficiently comprehensive in regards to the conduct of the team in question.”
Ginetta have suspended the team from their championships “pending a further investigation into the conduct of JHR Developments and their employees,” which will “consider whether their actions met our regulatory standards of fairness and were in accord with the principles of good sportsmanship.”
With the investigation “unlikely to be concluded until after the completion of the 2017 season,” the team’s drivers (Priaulx, Luff, Dyson, Tom Gamble, Adam Smalley, Finley Green, Seb Perez and George Gamble) will need to find new teams to complete the season with.
There will be no further repercussions for the drivers however, with Ginetta confirming that “the points and standings of the drivers will be honoured and unaffected by the decision to investigate JHR Developments’ conduct further.”
The bulletin concludes: “Following the conclusion of Ginetta’s investigation, depending on the outcome, JHR Developments will be informed whether they can support our drivers in future championships.”