Plenty of IndyCar drivers, folks making rounds at Daytona test

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It’s a two-day sports car test, and yet it feels as though an IndyCar race meeting has broken out.

To wit, here’s the IndyCar driver presence at Daytona International Speedway for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test:

  • Sebastien Bourdais is here, ahead of an expected but not-yet-formally-confirmed endurance race role with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT program.
  • The same story is true for Ryan Briscoe, expected to be confirmed as one of the full-season drivers for CGR. Briscoe did a sterling job in a fill-in role for the injured James Hinchcliffe the second half of the IndyCar season.
  • A key number of Ganassi’s IndyCar personnel, engineers and crew – as well as Sebastian Saavedra’s setup pad – are present as the team has its two-car Ford GT program off and rolling.
  • Fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud is here as well, filling Bourdais’ role as the de facto French IndyCar ace ringer at Action Express Racing. Pagenaud is in the team’s No. 31 Corvette DP, and if confirmed for the race, would be that car’s fourth driver along with Dane Cameron, Eric Curran and Jonny Adam.
  • Jack Hawksworth is here with Starworks Motorsport, ahead of a planned race start in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Hawksworth ran with RSR Racing this past season. He’s also due to have formal confirmation shortly of his continuation with A.J. Foyt Enterprises.
  • Tristan Vautier is also here, and will test the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP.
  • Spencer Pigot, the Indy Lights champ, is testing the No. 70 Mazda Prototype.
  • Stefan Wilson, the young rising star who spent several years in Indy Lights, is here pounding the pavement seeking a ride. Wilson is now Silver-rated, and in theory should be more valuable to teams in the Pro-Am PC and GTD classes.
  • NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell makes his first testing appearance aboard the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3, a “house car” being shared by confirmed Lamborghini drivers.

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

IMSA
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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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