Cavi Mike
07-03-2009, 10:43 AM
I really hope this is a warning to any and all parties involved with drifting. Although I don't necessarily agree that drifting is a sport, I prefer to think of it as exhibition, a place where you not only have fun but your main job is to entertain a crowd and not to 'win' but it's definitely not political and slur campaigns are not a part of drifting.

Dear D1GP USA Fans,

As mentioned in previous blogs, D1GP USA made a clerical error in Miami that resulted in James Bondurant being moved from the 16th position to the 17th position. This clerical error was caught by our staff right away and immediately following the drivers meeting, prior to the top 16, we informed James Bondurant of the error which put him out of the top 16 competition and moved Will Parsons into the competition. We immediately moved into competition with the correct results.

Unfortunately, the events that have transpired since that time constitute a gross violation of the D1GP USA Rules and Regulations by James Bondurant, his team owner Ruth Surrey and his mechanic “Dr. Z.” as he is known (collectively the Parties). These violations include, but are not limited to:

D1GP USA Rulebook Re: Conduct
• refusing to cooperate with, interfering with, or obstructing the action of the Officials, Competition Director or others in the performance of their duties.

Infraction by the Parties:
• Attempting to coerce D1GP USA Officials and staff to overturn a judgment via text and phone messages during the May 30th event.

D1GP USA Rulebook Re: Conduct
• Public criticism of the event or the series, its Officials or Sponsors

Infraction by the Parties:
• Public and numerous posts on drifting.com by the team owner, mechanic and driver. These posts include allegations of cheating by judges, drug use by a certain judge and more. While the parties in question have been asked repeatedly by members of the forum and by D1GP USA to provide proof of such allegations, no proof has ever been produced by the Parties. It is our position that there is no proof and that this has been done in an attempt to defame the judge in question and the series for personal gain

D1GP USA Rulebook Re: Unsportsmanlike Conduct
• Inappropriate, objectionable, threatening, or profane language or gestures

Infraction by the Parties:
• On drifting.com James Bondurant has posted messages to fans re: meeting them with the implied intent to fight. This constitutes a threat. Ruth Surrey and “Dr. Z” have posted numerous messages implying profane language with the use of the word censored in lieu of profane language, whereas the drift fan can understand the underlying tone of the conversation being directed at them. Dr. Z. during an interview on Justin Banners radio show used racial slurs to describe Japanese people as “Orientals” and “Japs” in order to negatively describe the Japanese people.

At the request of our Competition Director, Terence Jenkins, I agreed to not move towards immediate disciplinary action in this matter, but rather to discuss this with the Parties over dinner before this escalated any further. We made every attempt to extend our hand, however those attempts were not welcomed and the infractions by the parties continued. It was only after we had exhausted every attempt to remedy the matter peacefully, that our Competition Director recommended formal disciplinary action. I have reviewed all the text messages, forum posts and radio broadcast very carefully and I have come to the following conclusion in this matter.

Drifting is a professional motorsport and the sanctioning bodies that produce such events are governed by rules and regulations. Those rules and regulations are in place to protect the drivers, teams, sponsors and the sport as a whole. It is critical that these rules and regulations be followed by participants and enforced by the series otherwise the point is lost and damages all who are involved in the sport.

While I want to support every driver, especially in their attempts to secure sponsorship as in the case with James and while James’ infractions are not as gross as the rest of the Parties, James must understand that he is responsible for his team members and that he has a responsibility to the sport above all else.

This is just a very sad day for me. I am personally embarrassed by the racial remarks made by my fellow countrymen in this matter. I am embarrassed that anyone in our series would act in such a way. I am embarrassed that I have to relay this information to D1GP Corporation in Japan. I am embarrassed that I have to tell Keiichi Tsuchiya of these infractions and I am sad that my first disciplinary action as President of D1GP USA must be so harsh. My ruling in this matter is as follows:

1) James Bondurant – Suspension of D1GP USA competition license for the 2009 season, loss of series points and a fine of $10,000. The remedy in order to compete in D1GP USA again after the suspension period and to waive the imposed fine is a formal letter of apology to fans on drifting.com, a personal meeting with Keiichi Tsuchiya, personal meeting with D1GP USA Competition Director Terence and only after all these requirements have been met will James be required to meet with D1GP USA President to discuss the rules and regulations of the event series in detail. It will then be at the discretion of D1GP USA President to grant a provisional license to re-enter D1GP USA.

2) Ruth Surrey and “Dr. Z” will never be allowed to be affiliated with D1GP USA again in any manner. There is no remedy.

3) No driver will be allowed to participate in D1GP USA while affiliated with the Parties

4) No member of our staff will be employed while affiliated with the Parties

5) Recommendation will be made by the President of D1GP USA to D1GP Corporation to uphold this disciplinary action within their series as well as their affiliate series’ around the world

6) These matters will be made known to all D1GP affiliates of any kind worldwide

In the matter of Adam Andretti and Takahiro Ueno regarding their involvement with the Parties, we cannot determine the extent of the relationship nor do we think that they are aware of the infractions and now the judgment as outlined above. We will be in contact with them to discuss these matters directly. We discussed this matter with Forrest Wang this afternoon and he is no longer affiliated, did not commit any offense and will remain on the D1GP USA series.

Rich Goodwin
President D1GP USA

It really is a sad day for drifting when things have to come to this.