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Haas to make F1 driver announcement on Tuesday

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Haas F1 Team will make a driver announcement on Tuesday September 29 ahead of its debut Formula 1 season in 2016.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas won the race to join the grid back in 2014, but chose to delay his entry to F1 until 2016 so that he could prepare accordingly.

Haas has since signed a technical partnership with Ferrari that will see the team benefit from the Italian marque’s support and enjoy a much-needed boost for its first year in F1.

As the countdown to its debut on April 3 in Melbourne, Australia continues, Haas will add another piece to the puzzle by announcing at least one of its drivers in a press conference on Tuesday. Both Gene Haas and team principal Günther Steiner will be on hand for the announcement.

Romain Grosjean is known to be Haas’ main target for a seat in 2016, and the Frenchman confirmed last week that he has already made a decision about his plans, hinting that a deal with the American team has already been agreed.

Due to the technical partnership with Ferrari, the second seat is set to go to either Esteban Gutierrez or Jean-Eric Vergne who both work as development drivers at Maranello.

Gutierrez is thought to be leading the race due to his greater standing within Ferrari and his sizeable financial support from Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex. Other names linked to the seat include Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Rossi, although the latter was ruled out by Steiner earlier this month.

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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