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18 May 2012

Update: Mertens refused for the ERC rounds of Greinbach & Nyirád

Category: ERC, May, News Posted 18.05.12 12:57 by

It seems that the exclusion from the French ERC round at Dreux is not the end of the line for Belgian TouringCar driver Patrick Mertens, as his entries for the European events of Austria and Hungary have both been refused by the respective organisers.


Yesterday ERC24 found the following posting on the Facebook page of Belgian ERC regular Patrick Mertens: “the FIA offroad commission told me, that we as the organizer of the Austrian round can not accept your entry, because your crash with Mr. Koen Pauwels in Dreux was not akcaptable; therefore the Int. Sporting Code Art. Nr. 166 have to work”.


As Article 166 of the International Sporting Code of the FIA reads about ‘Suspension or Disqualification of an Automobile’ we have tried to find out more about the case. On request of ERC24 Erich Petrakovits, principal of Greinbach organiser RCC-Süd Großpetersdorf, confirmed that his club has refused the entry of Patrick Mertens because of the incident that happened in France. At Dreux Mertens was excluded from the entire event after a vehement attack early in the A final when the VW Polo campaigner pushed compatriot Koen Pauwels and his Ford Fiesta off the track and into a gravel trap, resulting in an immediate retirement of both opponents.


Asked for a statement Patrick Mertens claimed to ERC24 that he himself doesn’t know more about his refusal, but the fact that he has been refused as pointed out on his Facebook page. However, Mertens claimed that his entry for the Dutch championship event of coming Sunday at Valkenswaard has also been refused for the same reason. “As a driver one stands nowhere in such a situation. I possibly deserved the black flag in France, but what happens now has nothing to do with our hobby any longer,” is Mertens’ point of view. For next Monday the Belgian has planned to get in contact with his ASN (RACB) to find out about his future in Rallycross.


While, as already pointed out above, article no. 166 of the Int. Sporting Code reads about cars, according to the Rallycross Sporting Regulations each organiser can refuse entries of any driver trying to take part in an event.

Point 5.1: Acceptance of entries will be decided by each organiser but priority will be given to the 15 leading point scorers in each Division in the championship classification.

Point 6.5: The organising committee reserves the right to refuse the entry of a competitor or a driver, giving the reason for such refusal (Art. 74 of the Code).


Photo caption: The Patrick Mertens vs Koen Pauwels incident during the A final of the French ERC round at Dreux. © JKR/ERC24


Update of 20.05.2012, 01.10h: ERC24 has just been informed by Patrick Mertens that his entry for ERC round 4 in Hungary has also been refused, here by the organising club Nyirád Motorsport Kft. Quote: “According to the International Sporting Code Art. 74. we refuse your entry to the 4th Round of the FIA Rallycross European Championship held in Nyirád, because your behavior at the Round of Dreux is under disciplinary investigation.”