Danny and Tracey were sitting in the transporter talking. Part of Danny’s pre-race ritual was simply relaxing. Before the final practise session he’d spend his time practising on the simulator, thinking about the track, his gear changes and his braking. But in the few hours between final practise and the race he tried to spend his time relaxing in the transporter. The races were long, the racing suits and cars were hot, and the efforts drivers put in were epic, his relaxation time helped him get through that.
He’d only been relaxing with Tracey for about thirty five minutes when there was a knock at the door of the transporter.
“Yeah?” Danny called as he turned towards the closed door.
Dave opened the door and stepped inside. “You’ve been summoned to Race Control.”
“What? What the fuck for?” Danny’s outburst wasn’t one of anger, the use of the word fuck was more out of surprise.
Neither Danny or Dave expected Danny to be reprimanded for either the racing incident or the fighting incident and for that reason Danny expressed surprise when he heard about the order to Race Control. Usually when there was issues arising from on track incidents the officials made the decision and simply passed that decision down the wire to the teams where they had little choice but to accept it. Occasionally decisions went to the court room and got decided by a judge but such arguments only happened with big issues because of their cost and inconvenience, and they never happened on race weekend.
“Apparently they are not happy with toady’s carry on and they want to discuss it.” Dave used air quotes around the word discuss.
“Discuss what? There is nothing to discuss it was all one sided.” Danny replied getting up from his seat.
“And if they don’t know it they will be reminded in no uncertain terms. But let’s just go up there and see what they want without being defensive. Who knows what the hell they want but if we go in there all gun blazing you can bet they will return fire.”
“Are you coming with me?” Danny asked.
“For sure, I’m as intrigued as you are as to why it’s you being called.”
“Maybe they want to reward me for putting up with all the shit Fittzy wants to dish out and not resorting to bludgeoning him to death with a dessert spoon?” Danny replied. It wasn’t a particularly great joke but any joke in such a situation was better received than an angry response.
“Yes Danny, you are a saint among saints.” Dave replied, “Now let’s get moving, no point dragging it out longer than we have too.
“How did you go?” Tracey asked when Danny walked back into the transporter alone nearly an hour later.
She figured Danny wouldn’t be happy, not only because he was called to Race Control but also because his pre-race relaxation time had been eroded to little more than an hour.
“Better than we could have hoped.” Danny replied. He then went on to explain in detail what happened, starting from the second he and Dave walked in to the room.
Fittzy had arrived before them and instead of bringing his team manager, as Danny had, he’d brought two members of his legal team. Danny had wondered if the two drivers ordered to Race Control had been order with different reasons. He quickly learnt that Fittzy had been sitting there for more than half an hour and that Danny’s call had only come so they could finalise things and ensure that both teams knew exactly what had happened and why Race Control had made the decisions they had.
Danny took a little bit of pleasure in telling Tracey that Race Control had imposed fined on Fittzy for his over the top reaction in the rear of the pits. The team would of course pay the $20,000 he was fined for attempting to incite a fight but they would not be happy with such behaviour and like most teams would enforce an in team penalty of their own in response to it. In the scheme of things it was little more punishment than Danny had received for swearing on the TV broadcast but like Danny it was another strike against his name that would be remembered.
However it was the decision that Race Control had made in relation to the racing incidents that Danny took the most pleasure in telling Tracy. They had decided, unanimously, that Fittzy’s actions on the track were not just potentially dangerous, but they were also extremely reckless. However, it was the deliberate nature of the accidents that forced them to make the decision they did in an effort to stop the situation escalating even further. Then when they gave Fittzy the chance to explain himself, even at the behest of his lawyers, he refused to admit the incidents were his fault.
“It was his lack of remorse and his denial that any of it was deliberate which saw them drop the penalty on him they did.” Danny said.
“What penalty?” Tracey asked genuinely excited to hear that Fittzy was getting something for his actions.
“He’s been suspended for two races!” Danny said happily.
“Wow, that’s amazing. How did he take that?” Tracey asked as surprised at the penalty as Danny and Dave were when they heard it.
They were surprised because it was almost unprecedented to receive such a penalty, especially for one of the leading drivers who attracted such media and fan attention, but such behaviour was also unprecedented.
“At first he didn’t.” Danny said. “Then he reacted like you’d expect, pretty much like any of us would. Swearing, anger, more swearing, threats, you name it, but like I say we’d probably all react like that.”
“Not these days you wouldn’t.” Tracey said with a smile.
Danny knew he’d come a long way with his anger management but he also knew that if such a penalty was put on his back, even if he was in the wrong, he’d react pretty much the same way, initially. Some things just don’t change, especially not in the heat of the moment. He didn’t react to Tracy’s comment, he simple continued with what he was saying.
“His lawyers calmed him down, they knew he couldn’t fight it, at least not there and then. I’m sure they will appeal but they wont get it overturned for today’s race.”
Previous Car Racing story here.