The "timing" line (loop) has only to do with timing the transponders (race cars) from one lap to the next, not the overall time between green flag displayed and checkered flag displayed. The number of laps can be counted, but it is the flag that flips the on/off of the session, be it race or otherwise. The Steware/Race Chairman may certainly designate that loop as the official finish line if they like, but the S/F station should display the flags at the position of that (designated) line.
"Winners and 'roughly' the top ten in finishing order are determined with human eyeballs at the S/F line. Then, they defer to the timing system."-sez Rich Broadhead
The human eye ball is not mentioned as any official determinator of place/position in these regulations. Not that it shouldn't be, just that it isn't.
I'll look some more, but I'm not finding any verbage that pertains to human judgement even being a factor in the determination of which car is in which place at the "End of the race." I haven't scoured the PPM, but would be happy to read any passages that can be found that related directly to the determination of a winner at the "designated finish line".
My point is that we are working under some assumptions not directly supported by our regulations. The "But that's the way we've always done it." perspective not withstanding.
The last sentence of 711 pertains to ANY car that may be anyplace on course, but hadn't yet crossed the "designated" finish line. They may be parked in T4 when the race ends, as long as they get their car across the plane of that "designated" finish line 5 minutes after the checkered has been displayed.
I'm just reading the words, Rich. Not in between them.