Ecclestone hits out at Caterham’s crowdfunding project

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Bernie Ecclestone has hit out at Caterham’s attempt to try and make the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in two weeks’ time through a crowdfunding project, telling reporters in Brazil that it is a “disaster”.

After entering administration following the Russian Grand Prix, Caterham confirmed that it would not be racing in either the United States or Brazil, but was still hoping to feature at the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.

Yesterday, the administrators launched a crowdfunding project called “Refuel Caterham F1” in a bid to raise $3.7m in the next week and ensure that the team could race at Yas Marina.

In return for donations, fans can choose from a variety of benefits, with over 20% of the target being raised in the first 24 hours of the project launching.

However, Ecclestone has hit out at the idea, telling a number of outlets including Reuters that he thought the idea was a terrible one.

“I think it’s a disaster,” Ecclestone said. “We don’t want begging bowls. If people can’t afford to be in Formula 1, they have to find something else to do.

“If I sit in a poker game and I can’t afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave.”

Should Caterham manage to reach the grid in Abu Dhabi, it could secure the team a $40m windfall following the closure of Marussia F1 Team on Friday.

Although Marussia does rank ninth in the constructors’ championship, it will give up its position by not seeing out the season. Caterham would face a similar fate if it does not race again this year, but should it start under the lights at Yas Marina, it would automatically move up to P10 in the constructors’ championship and secure the prize money that comes with it.

You can find out more about Caterham’s crowdfunding project by clicking here.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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