As part of the 2017 BMW Compact Cup normal post-season scrutineering checks, our MSA Eligibility Scrutineer found on inspection what he considered to be a non-compliant part fitted to James Gornall’s race engine. The MSA Eligibility Scrutineer then completed and forwarded the relevant reports to the MSA. James Gornall as is his right under MSA rules, appealed the findings of the Scrutineer’s report. This appeal was considered by the relevant MSA committee at the national court and overturned. As such, the original non-compliance finding by the MSA Eligibility Scrutineer was upheld. 

Updated Championship Standings for the 2017 season will be published as soon as possible.

A statement from J. Gornall

Statement following Motor Sport Council compliance decision

It is with deep regret and embarrassment to have to put out this statement after so many years of racing, and following the Championship technical announcement on Friday last. Firstly, after so much hard work, to lose a Championship in this way is galling. People will, we know, draw their own conclusions, but let it be said that neither James nor indeed his father Ian were aware of any irregularity or non- conformity.

The engine was presented for scrutineering and fully stripped with every component checked and measured. Aside from the component in question, everything was found to be fully compliant with the regulations. It was however alleged that the crankshaft was non-compliant due to marks deemed to be of a ‘grinding’ nature. Something that is still a source of disagreement.

Despite unimpeachable evidence of the crank being the correct manufacturer’s weight, and indeed its provenance of ‘as manufactured’ from an official BMW dealer being provided to the court it was deemed to be non-compliant with the championship regulations purely by a small area of cosmetic appearance. At no point during the process has it been suggested by any party involved that anything was in any way ‘performance enhancing’.

Had we not genuinely believed that we were not at fault in using a crankshaft which has been previously approved, we would not have used that component nor have gone to the trouble and considerable expense of appealing the decision. We would simply have gone away. That is not our way. We stand and fight for what we believe to be true and honest.

In this case, the decision was not in our favour, and although we are very surprised due to the evidence provided, James in particular has to suffer the consequences as there is no further avenue of appeal. If there is blame to be placed, it rests with James’s father Ian who is and has been responsible for the car preparation.

We hope our experience will be a lesson to all club racers to check and double- check your equipment. As predominantly a Father and Son team, we believed we had checked everything enough to ensure something like this never happened. In fact it is safe to say the car has had more checks conducted than any other Compact Cup car due to many years of fighting for victory. Clearly nothing can be taken for granted.

It is right the Championship is policed in the correct and proper way. We, through no fault of our own, simply a misguided belief that all was ok, have fallen foul of the process that is in place to protect us.

We wish the 2017 Champion and Championship all the best going forward. Ian & James Gornall