Dakar: Nani Roma more than six hours behind following Stage 1 breakdown

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After an ill-fated opening stage, defending Dakar Rally champion Nani Roma will be racing just for pride over the next two weeks.

Mechanical problems with his No. 300 Mini All4 machine in the opening kilometers of Sunday’s Stage 1 from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina ruined his afternoon early on.

His assistance truck had to tow him the remainder of the 175km stage, and Roma was forced to stop again while heading toward the second checkpoint.

He eventually got going again but he passed the second checkpoint down 4 hours and 40 minutes to Al-Attiyah. Reduced speeds caused the gap to widen even further, and heading into Stage 2 tomorrow, Roma will be facing a surely insurmountable deficit of six hours, 26 minutes.

Al-Attiyah and today’s runner-up, Orlando Terranova, will now be counted on to lead the charge for Mini, which seeks its fourth consecutive win in the Dakar.

Coverage of the 2015 Dakar Rally starts Monday afternoon on NBCSN. Get your full Dakar TV schedule 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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