All right guys, things got a bit heated yesterday and people started posting personal details and threatening violence. I've never had to shut down comments before, but I had to do it yesterday. I'm opening up comments again, but keep it sensible please. If it gets stupid again, I'll shut it down for good.
Okay guys, this is a very controversial topic. Here's the unedited footage of the Steve Nogas incident.
What seems to have happened is that the driver Steve Nogas was told he was disqualified for reason stemming back to his qualifying burnout (disobeying a fire mashal), he forced his car through a group of officials and on to the track, and after the burnout he was escorted from the track and his car towed away.
Could have been handled a little better from both sides, but forcing your way on to the track is definitely the wrong way to go.
I've posted this video to provide a little clarity to the incident.
Summernats statement 11/01/2012
SUMMERNATS STATEMENT ON BURNOUT TRACK INCIDENT
11 January 2012
There was an incident at the burnout track on Sunday 8/1/12 involving entrant Steve Nogas in NUKINFUTS. Steve was seen to forcibly drive his car through officials who were instructing him not to drive at the time, and then did an unauthorised burnout.
He was removed by security at the end of his drive and was immediately given a life-time ban by management.
The incident was witnessed first hand by Summernats management including the owners.
The owners said "We made the immediate life-time ban decision for two reasons. The first and most important reason was we saw a guy place our burnout management team in great physical danger. We were very upset by that. Second, we were furious that all our efforts to establish burnouts as a legitimate motor sport could have been ruined in one moment. This is not just about the Summernats. There are a lot of people out there who want to see burnout events banned across Australia, and all competitors and event promoters alike have a responsibility to protect this awesome sport."
Summernats management has reviewed both the incident and the punishment post event, consulting the rules and taking submissions from burnout track officials and the driver.
Following this process, the Summernats have revised their decision and have released their official position.
"Steve Nogas' life time ban has been suspended on review. He is however banned as an entrant from Summernats 26. As such, Steve is ineligible to enter as a competitor at Summernats 26. However, the Burnout Chief Marshall has invited Steve to make amends with the burnout crew and work alongside them at Summernats 26. This will give Steve a better appreciation of the issues facing officials managing this sport."
Summernats gave the following reason for the review.
"Our own assessment of the rules led us to the opinion there was no explicit statement about life bans for such behaviour. As such, we felt it was only fair to review the decision. We took into account the fact that Steve has since been extremely apologetic about what he did and has accepted complete responsibility for his actions. He has made several public and private statements expressing his regret. We also considered the intent of his actions. Whilst the consequences could have been severe, we accepted Steve's statement that there was no intent or premeditation to his actions. The one year ban is a consensus decision between Summernats management and the burnout competition chief steward. Steve has gratefully accepted this decision.
"The Summernats stands by the actions of our burnout crew. Our crew do an incredible job under very trying conditions. Their primary mission is to maintain the safety of competitors and the audience. Our burnout crew do a superb job and should be commended for their professionalism.
"We have learnt important lessons from this incident, and Summernats will be taking a number of measures to ensure this doesn't happen again."
Steve Nogas says, "What I've done there is totally out of character for me and totally wrong for any entrant to do. I'm deeply sorry for the way I conducted myself."
Summernats management stated, "We want to be very clear. The only reason we re-considered the decision was that our rules were not explicit on life-time bans. Moving forward, the rules will be very explicit. If a driver deliberately and maliciously ignores the instructions of officials on the start line of the burnout pad placing them and the competition in jeopardy, that driver will receive a life-time ban. Apologies after the fact will not be considered. Now we all know the rules, and these will be very clearly laid out in the Participation Guide for Summernats 26 and beyond."