As more and more professional drivers are becoming involved in historic motor sport, it becomes more and more of a talking point amongst normal amateur historic racers. Clearly it is something that irritates them when a pro is brought in simply to gain an advantage over the amateurs. Diogo Ferrão is the latest organiser to penalise these teams and he put it rather well when he wrote to his Iberian Historic Endurance drivers in these terms:
“As you know, Historic Endurance has been created and designed for ‘Gentlemen Drivers’ to enjoy their machines in good company and in an atmosphere where camaraderie comes before the fight for the main places in the classification. We are not against hiring “professional” drivers or “coaches” to help and teach beginner drivers to enter this world. It is an excellent way for a starting pilot to learn faster and to feel safer and better accompanied in order to make fewer mistakes. However, if the aim of inviting professional drivers is to gain an advantage and finish further ahead, then this team is not in line with the general principles of what Iberian Historic Endurance is meant to be.”
From this year Iberian Historic Endurance regulations will carry a stipulation that a driver classed as Silver by the FIA will not be allowed to drive more than 50% of a two-driver race and the team will have an additional 10-second handicap added to its pitstop time. This is in keeping with what many organisers already practice.
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