Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s driver James Rossiter will miss the first hour of the opening practice session at the Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland Sugo after accumulating four points on his license for violations of the Super GT Driving Moral hazard prevention system.
The Driving Moral hazard system was established by Super GT and its sanctioning body, the GT-Association (GTA) to ensure high-quality racing, sportsmanship amongst drivers, and safe driving standards for all who participate. The Driving Moral system precedes similar penalty point-based disciplinary systems used by Formula 1 and MotoGP today.
Rossiter reached the first threshhold of four penalty points during the official test session at Sugo from June 18-19.
During the test, Rossiter earned a three-point infraction for overtaking the S Road MOLA Nissan GT-R out of the 110R corner under a red flag, pushing him from one point to the necessary four points needed for the GTA to impose a penalty.
In Rossiter’s case, he will miss the first hour of the 1 hour, 45 minute practice session for the Sugo GT race.
Other drivers who were given moral hazard points during the Sugo test were Lexus Team ZENT Cerumo driver Hiroaki Ishiura (2 pts), BMW Team Studie’s Seiji Ara (2 pts), apr driver Hiroaki Nagai (2 pts), and Tomei Sports rookie Shota Kiyohara (1 pt), as well as another three-point infraction for Lexus Team SARD driver, Kohei Hirate.
The three points puts Hirate just under the threshhold for a Driving Moral penalty, as is Lexus Team Wako’s LeMans driver Andrea Caldarelli, who is also at three points.
Penalty points applied under the Driving Moral system remain on a driver’s record for 12 months, though two points are stricken from the record for every two consecutive penalty-free races.
Last year, Calsonic Team Impul driver Hironobu Yasuda was given a ban for the entire opening practice session of the Super GT in Kyushu 300km at Autopolis, for accumulating six or more penalty points.
Since the introduction of the Driving Moral hazard prevention system, at least two drivers have earned the maximum ten points needed for a one-race ban.
In 2009, Benoît Tréluyer of the NISMO team was forced to sit out the Pokka GT Summer Special at Suzuka (the shortened-distance version of the Suzuka 1000km) due to penalty points accumulated in the first five rounds of the season for numerous incidents.
In 2012, Yuhi Sekiguchi, then with the Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) team in GT300, was banned from the Fuji GT 300km Race in September.
Thanks to @geinou for providing additional information from the official GT-Association report of Rossiter’s penalty and the penalty points structure.