Dakar Rally continues to dare racers to go beyond their limits (VIDEO)

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Two weeks ago in Buenos Aires, Argentina, more than 400 competitors embarked on perhaps the most epic adventure in motorsports: The Dakar Rally.

Just over half of them would make it back to Buenos Aires for the finish on Saturday.

But while Nasser Al-Attiyah, Marc Coma, Rafal Sonik, and Ayrat Mardeev emerged as class champions and ultimate victors, the other 200-plus that completed the 5,600-mile journey across Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile surely feel like winners as well.

The Dakar, like any other race, is a challenge of man and machine. And like any other race, the objective is the same: Be faster than everybody else.

But the Dakar is a test that is worlds apart from Daytona, from Indianapolis, from Le Mans. With all due respect to those prestigious events, the Dakar may be the one event that tests the human element more than any other.

One minute, you’re pushing like hell down a dusty or muddy road in a race against time. Another minute, you’re under a busted vehicle, trying desperately to fix its problem and get back to business.

All the while, you must continue to persevere, no matter the obstacle. It is the most essential quality needed to succeed in this race. Your vehicle may not always stay rock-solid, but your fortitude cannot fail.

For those that compete in the Dakar, their fortitude collides with what they’ve considered as their personal limits.

It is then up to them to go beyond those limits in pursuit of victory – whether that involves a trophy, confetti, and headlines, or simply proving something important to themselves: You can. You will.

In closing NBCSN’s Dakar coverage for 2015, Leigh Diffey delivered a final monologue that summarizes the meaning of the world’s toughest rally. You can check it out in the clip above.

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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