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Rhys Millen Docked Points for Illegal Car Modifications? Drifting Drift Live

Rhys Millen Docked Points for Illegal Car Modifications?

September 13th, 2007 - Geoffrey Chandler

Update 9/14/07 @ 4pm

Click here to read the the official Formula D announcement regarding the penalty.

End Update

Update 9/14/07 @ 1pm

No official notice from Formula Drift yet, but I have been informed that Rhys was not docked points for an Illegal vehicle modification, but rather a Technical Issue with his lighting system.

End Update

Updated 9/13/07 @ 2pm

Jim Liaw from Formula D just contacted me and informed me that there will be a technical bulletin regarding the penalty posted on the Formula Drift website shortly.

I still hold my opinion that docking Rhys points after the fact is poor form.

End Update

So in my email inbox this morning i received the usual post event IMG press release. I was surprised to find this near the bottom of the release:

“Due to a random post race impound and inspection conducted by Formula DRIFT officials the RMR team and driver Rhys Millen was issued a 17 point deduction to their overall point total and remains in the 4th place position.”

This irks me a bit as the reason for the point docking was not given. I visited Formula Drift’s website and did not find any further information. Rhys Millen may not be everyones favorite driver, but talking 17 championship points and not making public the reasoning is poor form. Rhys is a professional driver who has sponsors to keep happy, this seems like overtly bad press without justification. I have added an asterisk next to his season score.

HH5T2759.JPG.jpg

Now trailing 3rd place driver Chris Forsberg by 59 points and 2nd place Daijiro Yoshihara by 60 points, Rhys would need Chris or Daijiro to fail to make the Top 16 at Irwindale in order to move into 2nd or 3 position. This is a long shot as Chris and Daijro are consistently in the Top 16. Rhys now leads Samuel Hubinette by 59 points, but Rhys has not failed to qualify in the last 2 seasons so the chances of Sam moving up look slim.

Chances are that Rhys will end the season in the 4th Spot. The real battles at Irwindale are for 1-3 and 7-11.

17 Comments »

  1. Rhys was deducted points and fined for not having functional brake lights for the Top 16 tandem rounds and possible earlier in competition?

    I feel the penalty is way to light and he should be declined any points scored during top 16. If someone would have caught the problem sooner he would have been given 5 minutes to fix the problem. And knowing that the wiring in that car is less than desirable there is no way they would have fixed the problem and he would have been DQ’d rendering his team unable to score the points he earned illegally.

    Furthermore, I find it absurd that he and his finely tuned team didn’t know that the lights weren’t working? In fact, when the starting line judge asked him to show the lights before leaving the line on his last battle the taillights were turned on and no headlights. Another obstruction of the rules.

    It’s no wonder 2 cars rear ended him during tandem competition.

    Comment by limited — September 13, 2007 #

  2. So today I received a letter from Randy the technical steward at “Formula D”. It stated that I was being assessed a points penalty of 17 points and a fine of $500.00 for my brake lights failing to pass post race inspection at round six, New Jersey. It started out to be 34 points ( all competition points for the event ) but was dropped after I gave them my piece of mind. In my eyes this is a huge pile of $#!% for the following reasons :

    Randy and his technical staff did not notice an issue until after the race nor did the judges or competitors say anything about the brake lights not working during the rounds. But for some reason after the race they were able to notice and recall that they were working in qualifying.

    There is nothing written in the rule book that is based on a vehicle failing to pass “A Post Race Technical inspection” stating that points or fines will be assessed and deducted.

    My brake lights were deemed to be working prior to Ross Petty hitting on the very first lap ( half a lap ) of the top sixteen.

    In the past if an issue has come to the attention of the technical staff such as “deemed illegal tires” or “vehicle swapping during rounds”, a technical bulletin has been handed out to all competitors along with a statement of how the infraction will be handled and that it will be enforced at the next round with no points or fines being applied to those parties involved

    Comment by TEAM RMR — September 13, 2007 #

  3. Yea…..Not buying it Rhys. Go away.

    Comment by Limited — September 13, 2007 #

  4. I’m going to have to agree with RMR on this issue. If the tech inspectors felt this was such a large issue, they had several opportunities to inspect the car.

    A clear example would have been immediately after the collision with Ross Petty.

    It is unfair to dock Rhys points for the tech teams shortcoming.

    Comment by Geoffrey Chandler — September 13, 2007 #

  5. Hmm.. penalizing someone, for no brake lights, after someone rear ends you… doesn’t seem fair to me. I wasn’t there though. I’m sure $500 is chump change for Rhys, but the points are worth far more…

    Comment by Ryan — September 13, 2007 #

  6. Uhhh… if you look at the pics where Ross rear ended him it doesent look like he hit the brakes at all…maybe it was because of the day light… but either way the crash wasn’t event that bad, ross hit the wheel and the quarter panel with very minimal damage

    I doubt that would kill lights in both lamps.

    But as for points…. those cant be bought, just fine him a couple thousand and leave it as that, dont take away his points.

    Comment by Cam — September 13, 2007 #

  7. I have heard that millen had his brake lights on a delayed switch for some time now from a few people….

    Comment by josh — September 14, 2007 #

  8. As quoted by Rhys Millen
    “To end all comments. I am not trying to say I had brake lights working, it’s apparent that they were not working. For what reason I don’t know. For any one that knows me personally, and knows my driving style, not some web freak that has more free time than brains you would know that my driving style uses the brakes a lot in a left foot braking technique. It would not behoove me to have a delayed switch or turn the lights off for any reason. I have sponsors that I represent and I don’t need to play ticks to be competitive or to chance loosing these great supporters. Fact is “NO” body noticed or said anything till after the event, I was not given a fair chance ( 5 minute rule ) to correct this issue and no where is it written that points deductions or fines will be applied - period !!!!!!”

    Comment by TEAM RMR — September 14, 2007 #

  9. Because not everyone knows where to find the rule book, here is a link to the 2007 Formula D Rulebook.

    Comment by DriftLive.com — September 14, 2007 #

  10. Our website has been having problems and Geoffrey was able to post this up.

    http://www.driftlive.com/dl/2007/09/14/formula-drift-post-race-technical-inspection-report-2/

    Comment by Jim @ FD — September 14, 2007 #

  11. I call shenanigans!

    The Full section 6.3:
    —-

    6.3 DAMAGE
    If there is damage to the chassis of the vehicle, the annual tech sticker shall be removed from the vehicle. A new tech sticker may be issued after the vehicle is re-inspected or repaired and then re-inspected. It is the responsibility of the team to notify the TECHNICAL MANAGER of any and all damage.

    This rule is vague at best and appears to state that the vehicle should have been re-inspected after the impact with Ross Petty. Read a bit further and you come across an escape clause that removes accountability from the TECH INSPECTOR. To me this is absurd. The car was damaged on track and could have been re-inspected at that time.

    Issuing a retroactive penalty is absurd.

    I have seen tech stickers removed from vehicles involved in impacts, for example Haruguchi’s car at Sonoma, why was this not done in this case?

    Consistency is key to generating fan support, especially in a sport as highly subjective as drifting.

    Comment by Geoffrey Chandler — September 14, 2007 #

  12. I agree, retroactively fining him over a vague-ass rule that isn’t really even a rule is ridiculous.

    Maybe his brake lights never worked. Maybe that’s why he caused accidents (ALLEGEDLY).

    So what? Fact of the matter is, like it or not, like HIM or not, Rhys is right — there’s no rule for it.

    Making up a rule after the fact, and docking him points, reeks of trying to stick it to Rhys, IMO.

    Comment by Poo — September 16, 2007 #

  13. yeah Ryhs is right on he should of never been let out on the track without an inspection and time to “fix” it but like they say if your not cheating your not trying….

    Comment by josh — September 19, 2007 #

  14. As quoted by Rhys Millen
    “To end all comments. I am not trying to say I had brake lights working, it’s apparent that they were not working. For what reason I don’t know. For any one that knows me personally, and knows my driving style, not some web freak that has more free time than brains you would know that my driving style uses the brakes a lot in a left foot braking technique. It would not behoove me to have a delayed switch or turn the lights off for any reason. I have sponsors that I represent and I don’t need to play ticks to be competitive or to chance loosing these great supporters. Fact is “NO? body noticed or said anything till after the event, I was not given a fair chance ( 5 minute rule ) to correct this issue and no where is it written that points deductions or fines will be applied - period !!!!!!?

    Well that’s one way to show maturity to your internet based fans I guess… And just curious, why doesn’t Rhys post that himself? If TeamRMR has time to quote that much text, why not put it under his name instead of his team speaking for him? Is he that elite? And just food for thought…maybe his team should have spent more time checking the car after the hit with Ross. I mean, you had the team down on the track at the start line checking the wheel, kinda stumped and confused looking…why not take the 5 minutes and go over the car? I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but it’s the builders and mechanics job to ensure the car is at 100% or as close to it as situations allow. I think that is where the blame lies.

    Comment by Dave — September 20, 2007 #

  15. I AM CLAPPING…VERY WELL STATED DAVE;) I AGREE.

    Comment by heather — September 20, 2007 #

  16. RMR or Rhys, your not given a 5 minute timeout when you get hit. Your spotter has to ask for one and if they don’t the Chief Steward and everyone else is under the impression your car is fine. For someone that keeps quoting the rulebook it sure seems you don’t know it very well?

    Comment by Limited — September 20, 2007 #

  17. Oh yea….and what Dave said.

    Comment by Limited — September 20, 2007 #

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