For the remainder of the 2019 season, Target Competition‘s Dusan Borkovic has been banned from attending TCR Europe events.
The news arrives in the aftermath of intolerable post-race behaviour from Borkovic at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. During the second race of the weekend, contact caused by Nelson Panciatici had forced the Serbian driver into retirement on the very last lap. His frustration at the scenario was understandable, however his actions most certainly were not.
The stewards have officially described those actions as: “inadmissible behaviour in the parc fermé after Race 2, pushing a woman on a car, trying to tear off the front left door in order to reach the driver of car #25 “.
However, the #25 car in question was not that of Nelson Panciatici, but instead was the car of Panciatici’s team-mate, Natan Bihel. As the cars compete in the same livery, it would appear as though Borkovic’s anger was misdirected towards the wrong driver.
This is not the first time that Dusan Borkovic has behaved in an unacceptable manner at a TCR Europe event. In 2018, he was excluded from the round at Monza after being involved in a fight with one of Mikel Azcona‘s family members.
The TCR Europe governing body has taken these past offences into account, as they explain in their statement on the decision to ban one of the series’ most high profile drivers:
“We took this action with regret, but had no other choice. As the Series Promoter, we cannot remain as mere spectators of this unfortunate event. Violence cannot go unpunished in an event that is open to the fans and covered by the media. Very often the drivers are the models for young people who wish to enter the world of motorsport and it is precisely because of this philosophy that we can no longer tolerate aggressive behaviour.”
“We tolerated what happened in Monza last year, with the aim of giving a second chance that in our ethical code is worthy of being given to those who repent and apologize for their mistakes. But now the time for tolerance is over.”
In the wake of the decision, Borkovic has used the media attention to address what he believes to be the real problem at hand; not his own behaviour, but rather the behaviour of the race stewards:
“I was aware that my gesture would cause some kind of punishment, but I also expected a penalty for the driver [Nelson Panciatici] who knocked me out in the last seconds of the race.”
“That driver was not punished, but I was. I can no longer tolerate this kind of injustice and decisions that destroy not only my ambitions, but also the plans of a whole team of people who are working hard to achieve results of worth and attention.”
Target Competiton have since released a statement of their own, in which they distance themselves from the actions of their driver. The team had this to say:
“During the Red Bull Ring weekend of TCR Europe we as a team had excellent results and had the chance to celebrate at the podium ceremony in both races. Whilst the team was celebrating our race two podium, an unfortunate incident happened in the paddock at the opposite end of the pit lane.”
“There was a confrontation between driver Dušan Borković and members of another team including one of their drivers. We absolutely do not condone such behaviour and were very upset to hear of such an incident.”
While the team have left the door open to working with Borkovic on “other projects”, it is now understood that they will actively seek a replacement driver for their #62 Hyundai for the remainder of 2019.