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Whincup escapes Supercars penalty

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/03/2017 Laine Clark

Six-time Supercars series champion Jamie Whincup has been the first to benefit from this season's new rules after escaping punishment for a race incident at the season opener in Adelaide.

Whincup came under the deputy race director's scrutiny after making contact with Ford's Mark Winterbottom while dicing for 10th midway into the opening 250km race on Saturday.

However, on Sunday the incident was not referred to the stewards after the deputy race director determined neither driver was "wholly or predominantly to blame" for the incident.

New rule interpretations to avoid "Draconian penalties" for minor contact were introduced this year to encourage more on-track action.

The controversial redress rule - in which a driver lets a rival pass after a race incident to avoid penalty - has also been abolished.

Winterbottom's Ford team boss Tim Edwards believed the Whincup incident had to be investigated.

"From Frosty (Winterbottom)'s perspective he felt he gave Jamie enough room," he told speedcafe website.

"Anyone can just jam a car into the inside of the corner but you can't use a bloke as a mechanism to get by.

"This is a great test case for the new system and they did the right thing to investigate after the race."

Whincup finished sixth and Winterbottom 15th on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Nissan's Todd Kelly was docked 35 points for his role in an opening lap incident that took out Holden's Will Davison on turn eight on Saturday.

And Nick Percat's Holden team were fined $10,000 - $7,000 suspended until the end of the season - and docked 96 championship points for failing to put a memory card in their onboard camera which is used for judicial matters.

The opening round concludes with a second 250km race on the tough street circuit from 3.50pm AEDT.

Defending series champion Shane van Gisbergen claimed Saturday's 78-lap opener.

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