Fans lash Supercars for wheel-spin furore

Supercars officials face accusations of bias and a tsunami of anger after Shane van Gisbergen was let off the hook for a wheel spin in pit lane at Pukekohe.

The potentially title-changing decision has been likened to Billy Slater's shoulder charge downgrade prior to the NRL grand final, given the high stakes in New Zealand.

The Red Bull HRT driver won Saturday's 200km race by just half a second over his championship rival and fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin in an electric contest.

But for much of the race and until Sunday afternoon, his championship hopes were in the hands of race stewards as they considered how to respond to his blunder.

Van Gisbergen clearly spun his rear wheels after having his tyres changed, a big no-no in a sport which puts safety at a premium.

Yet he avoided the standard punishment for the offence - a pit-lane penalty - which would have cost him up to 100 points in the standings.

Given McLaughlin leads van Gisbergen by just two points, it's easy to understand the tension around the decision.

The rule book states "wheels must not be rotating while the car is being lowered to the ground" but officials relied on a precedent used earlier this season that a full wheel rotation must occur for a penalty to be applied, clearing van Gisbergen during an original investigation and appeal.

The final outcome was released to Fox Sports with less than 40 minutes until Sunday's race.

DJR Team Penske said "we have no choice but to accept this decision", one rival team principal Roland Dane said was correct.

"It's consistent with the rulings made through the year ... there's been some precedent set and they're pretty clear," Dane said.

Fans streamed online to vent steam at the decision.

The Supercars Facebook page was inundated with thousands of comments, many alleging rule-making on the run.

Australian driver David Reynolds stirred the pot on Twitter, quoting the rule above and noting "some rules are hard to read and interpret ... this is an example" in a sarcastic follow-up.

Reynolds was the last driver to suffer a pit-lane penalty for wheel spinning, imposed at Bathurst last month as he duelled with eventual winner Craig Lowndes while suffering from cramp.

McLaughlin may feel aggrieved, given he was handed a drive-through penalty for speeding in pit lane in last year's season-ending race - a punishment that cost him a maiden title to Jamie Whincup.