The Competition Committee has suspended Richard Towler and Derek Wood from the next two online racing events in the iRacing World Championship Road Racing (iWCRR) series and placed both drivers on probation for the remainder of the 2010 iWCRR and NASCAR iRacing Series World Championship as the result of tactics they employed during Saturday’s iWCRR event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In the closing moments of qualifying, Towler used the pit access road to take a tighter line around the final corner before rejoining the main circuit just ahead of the pit entry markers . . . securing pole position in the process.

Although Towler stuck to the conventional line in the race, Wood utilized the “pit lane line” during the opening laps of the race to hold-off Dion Vergers and Darren Marsh for fourth spot.  Wood resumed using the normal racing line after Shannon Whitmore, iRacing Director of Competition, instructed him to stop using the pit lane.

Wood (pictured) and Towler were penalized for utilizing the pit road entry during Saturday's iWCRR competition.

Wood (pictured) and Towler were penalized for utilizing the pit lane entry as part of their racing line during Saturday's iWCRR competition.

Following the race, Towler and Wood argued that there were no specific regulations prohibiting the use of pit lane as part of the racing line and that they were justified in taking advantage of any opportunity to get an edge on the competition.

“I knew it would be a problem if I set a decent lap via it but as far as I’m concerned it’s legal otherwise I wouldn’t of done it,” Towler wrote after the race. “There’s no defined line around the oval part and pit entrance so the line I took was just an alternate racing line within the limits of the simulation. This is a hardcore competition, you have to do everything possible to gain an advantage that’s within the limits of the sim.”

“It was not against the rules, and I have no problem taking advantage of anything that is available to me legally,” wrote Wood.  “Shannon Whitmore told me to stop using the access road, and I did . . . If Shannon had said this wouldn’t be allowed prior to the race, I certainly wouldn’t have done it, but as it was I had no indication that there would be a problem with it from race control. And to be completely honest, I didn’t want any indication that it would be against the rules because I knew that only a few drivers in the race would be willing to use it.”

The iRacing Competition Committee didn’t buy their arguments.

“This was a clear violation of the Sporting Code and the spirit of fair competition,” said Tony Gardner, Competition Committee member and president of  “Everyone participating in the race knew the pit lane access road is not part of the racing surface.  In fact, Richard and Derek made comments to that effect after the race.

The iRacing World Championship Road Racing Series is one of iRacing’s elite series and the competitors are expected to behave accordingly, setting the highest standards of sportsmanship and professionalism.

“Therefore, the Competition Committee had a clear obligation to penalize Richard and Derek for their behavior.”

Gardner also noted that the timing of the announcement of the penalties was consistent with the actions of other motorsports sanctioning bodies.

“iRacing does not want to over-officiate events during the heat of competition,” he said.  “Whether it’s Formula One, NASCAR, IndyCar or iRacing, the results are not finalized until officials have reviewed any questionable tactics or behaviour during the race.  In this case, the Competition Committee undertook a thorough review of the iWCRR race at Indianapolis before reaching a decision we firmly believe is in the best interest of our members and the integrity of all our racing series.”

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do u underofficiate

September 7th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Good decision!

Marco Linke
September 7th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

At the end of the day iRacing made the tough but right decision. Towler and Woods are both great drivers, they just stepped way over the line this time. They will be back and as strong as ever.

Louis Scola
September 7th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Towler’s and Wood’s comments on the “line they took” is embarassing. They took a shortcut, end of story. iRacing cracked down on this during the “Lotus at Indy” Week 13 event, I don’t know what made these two think they were immune to this. I lost all respect for the both of them.

September 7th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I support iRacing’s decision

Kurt Messick
September 7th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Great job iRacing I also support this decision.

Patrick Wood
September 7th, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I have to agree. I enjoy watching both of them race. I admire their talents. However, as one person put in the forum, there are clear differences between drivers and gamers. The gamers look for exploits at the expense of the spirit of fair play. They knew it was “off track” yet they used it to gain an advantage. I’d rather race with racers and those who consider what others may think of them when considering blatent course cutting. Cheating=consequences. Tough decision iracing, but the right one.

John Paquin
September 7th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

A harsh but necessary decision to ensure that behaviour stops.

Paul D Smith
September 7th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I don’t necessarily agree with the severity of the penalty and here is why.

An inquiry was made to the stewards on the pace lap and no response was given. Once informed to stop Wood did just that, but it could have been avoided entirely had a ruling been made prior to the green flag.

That being said Shannon had about 2 mintues to make a decision so it is a difficult position for the in race steward to be in, but still an issue that should have been addressed at that time before it became an issue during the race.

With regards to having used it in qualifying having them start from the back of the grid in the next race would be more appropriate IMO. Make the punishment fit the crime. Cheating in qualifying results in a grid penalty not disqualification from 2 races. Perhaps their post race response to their actions weighed in on the deicision perhaps not.

Don’t misunderstand though… a penalty was appropriate just not a 2 race ban IMO.

Ryan Terpstra
September 7th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Unlimited ambition, uncompromising will to win, I’m fine with both. As long, as one thing stands above both: sportsmanship.

I was flabbergasted that someone even has the idea to do s th like that. But I lost all my respect, when I read that both drivers did not have the slightest bit of guiltiness.

I totally support iRacing’s decision.

Mo J
September 7th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Well done iRacing…..

Matteo Calestani
September 7th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

What an abominable decision! Talk about passing the buck on to the drivers! I understand something has to be done but why not first fix the problem. While I think what Towler and Wood did was wrong, this could have been avoided very easily prior to this round of the championship with a comment from race control to all the drivers. This issue came up in the Lotus race and nothing was done about it then, despite protests…….

Poor adminning of a prestigious event and poor planning is how I see it and the result is two drivers take the stick for that!

Andy Kirschetorte
September 7th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Nice explanation and also the proper way to handle a situation like this regardless of the outcome.

Dean Moll
September 7th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Wrong decision in my opinion :-(

Luis Babboni
September 7th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Just to clarify two points, even though it has been requested the sporting code violation has not been shared with myself or Derek nor the iRacing community. Neither did I admit what Tony suggested, what I did say was it didn’t matter what part of the track people want to call it iRacing defined what was accepted within the track its self and that line was acceptable at the time I did it.

We were also not informed this was not allowed either before qualifying or the race, and no one but Derek was informed during the race it was against the rules. Several times during the regular season iRacing have told us that these lines are acceptable, including driving the Lotus around Daytona on the apron. We’ve also requested prior to these events about other lines around other race tracks that go outside the ‘defined white lines of the racing surface’ and no action has been taken to prevent these lines from been used up to now.

I’m rather upset that iRacing have let the community perform what they have on the forum considering it seemed iRacing always prided themself on members not suffering the kind of abuse that has been happening and contines to happen there, but its also sad to me that iRacing felt the need to actually do it themself via there own news website.

Thats all I can really say, I’m sorry this has caused such the fuss it has but at the time it was within the guidelines which iRacing had set the past 2 seasons with the rullings that had been made and the lack of action to fix such problems in the tracks.

Richard Towler
September 7th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

So Towler & Wood receive this harsh of a penalty over a situation where they weren’t doing anything that was defined as wrong before the race, even when it was asked about? I figured that unintelligible judgment call officiating of amateur leagues was over and done with since this is a “professional” level, but obviously I was wrong. This looks like a cheap shot on behalf of the overpaid “officials” who barely officiate the series at all.

Harrison Widelitz
September 7th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I agree nothing was defined as wrong here. Can I get a witness?

Barry Bonds
September 7th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

analogy fail on behalf of “Barry Bonds”

Harrison Widelitz
September 7th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Good decision iRacing.

September 7th, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Agreed Harrison. It’s an extremely amateur decision.

Andy Kirschetorte
September 7th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Good decision!

Dustin Stuller
September 7th, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Glad to hear Iracing clearly coming forward and stating their position on cheating. This adds validity to the sim and their stance on future “gray areas”.

Too bad one of the exploiters obviously didn’t learn a thing and still defends cheating to gain an advantage.

David H.
September 8th, 2010 at 12:44 am

Wow this is way to harsh, a penalty was needed but banned from two races? cmon. Looks like iRacing is trying to be like Nascar. Towler should be starting from the back next race and wood should of had a 1 lap penalty added to his final result of the indy race. this is a joke, this is only going to piss them off and make them turn to another sim such as rFactor.

Huttu Fanboy
September 8th, 2010 at 1:02 am

If you have to be told that shortcutting the course is against the rules, you dont deserve to be in the top series. Period.

Joshua McDonald
September 8th, 2010 at 2:06 am

They both got what they deserved. I believe they should have been sat out for longer due to their histories of this sort of thing.

Either way, hopefully this will be a good deterrent for other people who shamelessly find exploits and use them.

David Beattie
September 8th, 2010 at 2:16 am

So let them go to rFactor LOL, this type of crap wont be acceptable here period and hopefully others will learn from it, if they dont then they can join Richard and Mr. wood in rFactor

The Hammer
September 8th, 2010 at 2:41 am

What Towler and Wood did was clearly in the wrong and poor sportsmanship whether or not it was specifically prohibited. They should accept their deserved penalties and moved on. Both are talented enough drivers to do well without this unacceptable behavior.

John Nelson
September 8th, 2010 at 3:29 am

What the drivers in question did is indefensible. The Official Track Map clearly delineates the Racing Surface. In no way does it show the Access Roads to be part of the Racing Surface of that course. Hence it is illegal for it to be used by any driver to gain an advantage. The fact the drivers in question continue to try to defend themselves when the proof is there for all to see in black and white on the Track Map is quite surprising.

In my opinion, There was no need for Shannon to respond in the first place, though it would have been nice. The racing surface is clearly shown on the official track map. The question never should have been raised, because the Track map already answers it. Case closed. There is no defense for what they did what so ever.

September 8th, 2010 at 3:49 am

This gets a 2 race ban, and intentional wrecking gets a warning or “its a racing incident” at least we know how things will be dealt with now.

To me they have to be completely bonkers to think the fall out of this isn’t going to make them look even worse as a company. I don’t understand why the so called penalty’s in the past were private information and they publicly post the penalty’s in this situation.

I think a grid penalty for Richard and a possible points penalty for Derek would have made more sense and would go more inline with what would happen in real racing.

The community called for there heads and iracing listened. shocking really. I’ll accept the decision but I’m blown away by how it all went down and how it was handled.

I just hope by some weird way I don’t finished ahead of Richard in the points, because I don’t deserve it that way.


Shawn Purdy
September 8th, 2010 at 4:21 am

I think the penalty is a bit over the top but I am glad to see the precedent set none the less. iRacing should have made it clear before the race that cutting that corner would not be allowed – there was clearly past experience with this track.

The drivers are accustomed to the following with reguards to course cutting – black flags and 1x. Neither were in play at that corner so heaping this penalty on these 2 drivers without warning seems unfair.

But, the 2 of them flirted with danger so…………………………. I gues the moral to the story is if you take advantagfe of loopholes then look out. Hard to argue with that really. 😀

Byron Forbes
September 8th, 2010 at 6:44 am

Just fix the in-sim corner cutting detection and be done with it, so we can avoid all of this in future, throughout all series.

Toby Bushnell
September 8th, 2010 at 7:29 am

It’s good that iRacing is trying to do the right thing even if the penalty may be a bit harsh.

Others, justifiably, may want to condem Towler & Wood for their unsportsmanship.

Personally, I want to give a tip of the cap to all of the *other* drivers that race who refrained from trying to take “any advantage” when they saw or heard what these two were doing.

I really respect those race drivers who chose to be the better men.

Well done other pro’s.

Jimbo Pfeiffer
September 8th, 2010 at 7:34 am

I don’t think it was a tough decision. It was the right decision made by the officials. Good work.

Göran Strand
September 8th, 2010 at 9:54 am

If in doubt, don’t do it.

Definitely a harsh penalty, however if the stewards remain consistent with that penalty, then so be it.

September 8th, 2010 at 11:09 am

So this line @ Chicagoland is also illegal?

Maybe it’s time for me to protest about it.

Richard Kortland
September 8th, 2010 at 11:16 am

Hopefully, iRacing has learnt a lesson here: if you want to run a top line series advertised as the pinnacle of sim-racing to show off to the public then it has to be run professionally.

The race steward apparently had PC problems, why was there only one official for an event like this.?

Why wasn’t immediately announced that there would be an investigation?

and many more questions…

At this level as in F1, NASCAR, INDY, ALMS etc etc ‘common sense’, ‘everyone knows’ don’t cut it. That”s why they have rule books that are inches thick.

Lee Ward
September 8th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

It is now pretty clear that iRacing and the powers that be are putting the onus on the drivers to bring themselves into line, instead of allowing the rules bring them into line with the assumption that “If it isnt specifically mentioned, then its allowed”.

Without commenting on the specifics, I think this is a good thing. Motor racing is often all about “If its not in black and white, then its legal”, which often leads to people taking the piss. This ruling sends a clear message that this attitude/behaviour wont be accepted.”

I dont think either driver has tainted their reputation, they exploited a grey area in order to maximise their potential, and they got brought back in line by the governing body. Makes me think of the double diffuser debate, the flexi wing debate F1 debates.

Real racers push the limits as far as they can, in order to extract every possible advantage, while being within the rules. Sometimes it happens that you overstep the mark. They overstepped, got punished, and so we move on.

Darryn Lobb
September 8th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Here you can see a picture of Wood “cutting”.
Few days after I subscribe iRacing I posted an screen caption of somebody bumping me on purpose and I was acused to be against the SC publishing this.
Waht about now, then? :-)

Luis Babboni
September 8th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

If iRacing is to hold itself at such a high standard of realism, Towler and Wood should be fined $50k apiece and have their accounts locked until they pay up.

Shurturt Shurtle
September 8th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I would like to apologize to iRacing for my earlier opinion that the penalties were too harsh. At that time I had simply had a quick look at the pic posted in this article and thought it was T1 that was being cut, not the pit entrance being used as a race line as I ultimately saw in the replay.

I have zero sympathy with either driver. Good decision iRacing.

Byron Forbes
September 9th, 2010 at 8:32 am

Good decision iRacing! It’s stupid to defend yourself after cutting the track by saying that it’s legal because nobody told you that it is illegal. Everybody in motor sport knows that you have to keep at least two wheels on the racing track to not get a cut track penalty. And the way these two guys cut the track just goes over the top. I have never thought that people can be so (sorry if someone will be angry because of this word) stupid to cut the track so violently and think that they can go away with it with so childish explanations.
One again good decision iRacing!

Martynas Pranckevicius
September 9th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

*sorry for the mistake at the last sentense: once again.

Martynas Pranckevicius
September 9th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Maybe 2 races is too much… but what they made was just stupid… F-1 dont serve as example for nothing, money is above the rules all the time…

Now, with that punition, people will not try to win at any cost…
“he just deserve a grip punition…” that pole give him the win didnt?

Marcos Eberhardt
September 9th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

What about the T1 at Glen?
A lot of guys usually goes wide clearly out of the racing line, cause the theire lines are left than the curb!
They did it not to gain time, but to use a safer path than the race line is.

Is not this against the SC?

Luis Babboni
September 10th, 2010 at 3:18 am

The only thing worse than being a douschebag, is trying to justify your reasons for being a douschebag.

September 11th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

The only thing worse than insulting someone you’ve never met on the internet is not having the guts to use your own name to insult someone on the internet.

Ryan Terpstra
September 13th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Thats a good message iracing if you go looking for loopholes you may get nailed. Now go and sort out the shifting macro thing

wayne harris
September 15th, 2010 at 9:04 am

To me they have to be completely bonkers to think the fall out of this isn’t going to make them look even worse as a company. I don’t understand why the so called penalty’s in the past were private information and they publicly post the penalty’s in this situation.
– shaun purdy

This is a outstanding point. I always said the rules are not the rules when comes to sporting code but… its the rules according to Nim or Shannon. The fact these guys are getting race suspensions for a rule not written into the rule book is a farce.

Also get some non bias judges, if you want this to really be like a real race league like nascar you can’t have the Bill France, Mike Helton types racing and announcing races and judging there peers.

They should give a warning then put the rules into the sporting code stating the correct track method. I have been watching every race on iracing tv and i enjoy it as much as the real indy series. As a fan of this series this disappoints me. I disagree with both the drivers approach but when you put money and prizes on the line you will get I need to win this at all costs… just like real sports.

bad job on this but that does not surprise me. I do give them credit for not censoring the article and comments though that is worth mentioning.


junior parks
September 17th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Nice combination: Macros and now this.

Fix??? I think it’s not the track that need to be fixed…

September 23rd, 2010 at 1:48 am

Its a simulation of a real thing and to me (and many others here) I always try to treat the tracks and competitors as if its the real thing ,I am pretty shure both drivers knew they would rise an upset by doing this ( I hope) but they did it anyway.

Picture doing that cut in reallife, marschalls had been yelling “what the f… are u guys doing!! ,and the crowd wouldnt have belived their eyes ( I didnt when i watched),I was thinking ” Is this the pinnacle of world racing simulation??”

I am sure it was embarrasing to them who showed someone new what simracing is!


September 28th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I can’t believe that people are actually arguing to “fix the sim” so that a CLEAR cheat can no longer be exploited.

How about “fixing the drivers”? The theory that since Race Control didn’t explicitly state that DRIVING DOWN THE PIT LANE ENTRANCE was against the rules, it was therefore legal… that sounds like a four-year-old’s logic. Seriously.

Someone said that there might be fallout from this decision – to me as an iRacer there’d be a HUGE amount of fallout if they DIDN’T penalize for this. IT’S CHEATING, fellas. If that doesn’t matter to you, then that says more than anything I or anyone else could about your character.

Tony Johns
October 6th, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Agree with all the post that say ” would you get away with it in a “real” racecar”? Racers are racers and gamers are gamers. Racers can clip an apex on the exit ramp of the interstate; gamers, well, maybe not.

Richard Witt
October 12th, 2010 at 1:47 am

This page seems to get a great deal of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It gives a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something authentic or substantial to give info on is the most important factor.

Wonda Kielich
November 8th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I, genuinely, have to be ordered to revel in.

Jettie Olthoff
November 13th, 2010 at 9:22 am

When I view your RSS feed it seems to be a page of weird text, is the problem on my side?

salary of respiratory therapist
November 16th, 2010 at 5:11 am

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime… maybe a ten second penalty would of done….two race ban is rediculous…as much as no one will admit it is just a GAME…..

November 19th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I think the 2 race ban is too harsh, why not just disqualify them from the race, and maybe give a grid penalty for the next one? You never see such harsh penalties in real racing – very over the top in my opinion.

Mark Morley
January 29th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

great work i-racing!!!! shouldve moved them down to pro level for 6 races ,,, but great work course cutting is for playstaions ,,,,,,

January 30th, 2011 at 4:26 am

It would have been the proper decision if they had already thought of such a thing WHICH THEY SHOULD HAVE and have it specified in the conduct code. However they haven’t and neither competitor broke any rules…if it didn’t earn them a black flag on the track how does it warrant suspension or probation? They didn’t break any rules, if they don’t want it done, specify so in the rules. We use the apron all the time on the oval side to get the car turned and theres no “out of bounds” unless at Daytona or Talladega last i recall. Just my personal opinion.

Michael McLain
January 30th, 2011 at 6:14 am

I don’t think race suspension is necessarily right, but DQ from the races they were in would have been fully in line.

What were those two going to do if someone was coming up to speed off of pit road?

They need to think about the fact that they race in an official Nascar Series at other times of the year, think about the fact that that can earn them quite a bit of money for winning the Championship and conduct themselves in a professional manner in accordance with that.

January 31st, 2011 at 11:49 am

right on jeffrey

February 1st, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Richard, for you to carry on that “no one told you” not to take the shortcut, and blaming iRacing for not fixing the exploit to prevent you from cheating is weak and shows a lack of character. It’s pretty obvious that your shortcut was not part of the actual racing surface and the right thing to do would have been to not take it, however, you felt you could get away with it and got caught. I know the series s competitive and everyone wants an edge, but you have to accept the consequences when you do something that is obviously not sporting for that edge. Had you manned up and apologized after the fact and took your punishment I would have not said a word. But, when you come here and try to put the blame on everyone other than yourself, I have to call you out on it. You may be one of the best, but it does not give you the right to be above blame.

February 8th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

It would appear there’s enough eggs on all faces to make a decent size omelet here. Suffice to say all parties will be more cognizant of vague assumptions in the future.

Right or wrong, the powers that be made a decision. It is final. Move on.

Michael Baley
February 8th, 2011 at 8:07 pm


Well done by iRacing.
This kind of behaviours must be banned from motorsport simracing.
We dont want this to be a GT5 Academy cheating revival.

May 6th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Pheonmneal breakdown of the topic, you should write for me too!

July 8th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

totally agree that Towler should have been DQ’d for his qualifying attempt. Send to rear of field, that how it’s done. Not 2 race suspension.

Tom Cerrato
August 10th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I usually do not leave many comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here Towler, Wood Suspended from Upcoming iWCRR Events | And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be only me or does it look like some of the responses appear as if they are written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional social sites, I would like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you list of every one of your community pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Najlepszy bukmacher
November 6th, 2012 at 11:09 pm

It seems to me if iracing would just make all the events fixed it would solve the problem’s of the unfair advantage stuff.

Darrin Isenberg
February 19th, 2014 at 11:53 am

Hrmm let me see here you mean to tell me that they got suspended for doing the exact same thing i have watched countless people do in iracing? Run down below the white line or cut a corner. Heres my thought either make it a penalty to do so, or let it go just that simple.

Darrin Isenberg
May 1st, 2014 at 11:53 am

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