Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

Lamborghini incurs major penalties from IMSA after Rolex 24


Lamborghini had an interesting debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona to say the least.

Four of its five Lamborghini Huracán GT3 cars fell out of contention despite major speed, and the fifth car, Konrad Motorsport’s No. 28 entry, made up a 35-plus second deficit in the final hour to catch, then pass Magnus Racing’s No. 44 Audi R8 LMS for the GT Daytona class lead.

It was so fast it ran out of fuel in the process, and ultimately finished fifth, while Rene Rast had some superhuman skills to save fuel and bring the Magnus Audi home to the class win.

Anyway, the point of the preamble is that the Lamborghinis debut – and pace – was officially, too good.

When lap times started falling early during the race, and with a best lap of 1:45.873 for Richard Antinucci serving as the race’s fastest lap and the best GT Le Mans lap only a 1:44.012 (Antonio Garcia, No. 3 Corvette C7.R), it stood to reason that the Lamborghinis had shown way too much.

After all five of its engines were taken by IMSA for review, the result is a big penalty from the sanctioning body.

Here’s the release from IMSA:

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Following observed performance during Round 1 of the 2016 Championship, IMSA has levied penalties under Sporting Regulation Attachment 2, Paragraph 2.9 against the following GT Daytona (GTD) teams 11, 16, 21, 28 and 48, as well as to the manufacturer, Lamborghini.

Each team was assessed a post-race penalty of a stop plus five (5) minutes which was added to each car’s finishing time.

The manufacturer penalty was assessed as a loss of Championship and North American Endurance Cup points and a $25,000 fine.

So what is Sporting Regulation Attachment 2, Paragraph 2.9, you ask? It’s this:

2.9. Competitors and Manufacturers are expected to provide valid data upon request to assist IMSA in the BoP process. Any Competitor or Manufacturer who deliberately gives false information, attempts to influence the BoP process, or displays a level of performance beyond the expected result may be issued a penalty prior to, during, or after a Race of a minimum Stop plus five (5) minutes. A penalty assessed prior to or during the Race must be served within the final thirty (30) minutes of the Race, regardless of the time when the infraction was discovered and/or the penalty communicated. Penalties assessed after the Race are added to the Car’s finishing time for the Race and may include a lap count penalty.

So what does this mean?

It essentially calls out Lamborghini’s BoP (Balance of Performance) process to IMSA, and indicates they’ve sandbagged and didn’t play their full hand.

IMSA was yet to release the official results from the Rolex 24, and this is probably the reason why.

Here’s where the five Lamborghinis finished prior to this news:

  • 5. 28-Konrad Motorsport
  • 14. 11-O’Gara Motorsport
  • 16. 48-Paul Miller Racing
  • 19. 16-Change Racing
  • 22. 21-Konrad Motorsport

As you see, Lamborghini didn’t finish that strongly anyway – Change and Paul Miller had a coming together overnight when battling for the lead with Justin Marks and Bryce Miller driving.

But still, based on performance, you can see they’ll be dinged.

IMSA has issued the revised provisional results. Here’s where the Lamborghinis have fallen to after the time penalties:

  • 10. 28-Konrad Motorsport
  • 15. 11-O’Gara Motorsport
  • 16. 48-Paul Miller Racing
  • 18. 16-Change Racing
  • 21. 21-Konrad Motorsport

The No. 16 and 21 Lamborghinis actually move up a position due to a different penalty assessed to the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, which was dropped to 22nd and last in GTD due to Article 12.5.3 for a drive-time violation.

Article 12.5.3 states:

12.5.3. (SSR) If a Driver exceeds the maximum drive-time, the finishing position for each Car the Driver is nominated in, regardless of declaration for championship points, is placed behind all other Cars in that class for the purpose of finishing positions and awarding any finishing points or Point Fund / Prize Money and all other Cars are elevated in the finishing positions, finishing points and/or Points Fund / Prize Money.

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
Chris Jones/IndyCar
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”