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2016 United States GP confirmed to be going ahead at COTA

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The 2016 United States Grand Prix will go ahead as planned at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on October 23 following uncertainty about the future of the race.

After a washout of a race in 2015 and a subsequent cut in funding from the state of Texas, the race at COTA was listed as being “subject to agreement” on the final calendar for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Circuit chairman Bobby Epstein has been working to ensure that F1 would remain in Austin, leading to today’s announcement that an agreement had been struck with the series.

As a result, the 2016 United States GP has the green light for what will be its fifth edition at COTA.

To celebrate, the circuit today announced that 10-time Grammy-winning artist Taylor Swift will be performing a special concert at COTA on the Saturday of the race following qualifying.

“We are so happy to confirm F1’s return to COTA as well as Taylor Swift’s headline performance. We can’t think of a better way to mark this important 5-year milestone for F1 in Austin,” Epstein said.

“Since we first hosted this event in 2012, we have gained a lot of knowledge and insight that has allowed us to make significant annual improvements to the event that we are confident will continue to establish the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix as the standout race weekend on F1’s calendar.

“By combining the excitement of Formula 1, the fun of the festival, and a full concert by Taylor Swift, we ensure fans can enjoy the greatest sports and entertainment event of the year.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to Texas and the Circuit of The Americas, for what promises to be an amazing weekend.”

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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