Vergne: P2 in Paris a ‘turning point’ in Formula E season

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PARIS – Jean-Eric Vergne believes that his charge to second place in Saturday’s Paris ePrix marks a turning point in his Formula E season after a tough start to the year.

Vergne recorded just one top 10 finish in the opening six races of the year, leaving him 65 points behind DS Virgin Racing teammate Sam Bird in the drivers’ championship.

The Frenchman scored his best result of the season in qualifying earlier in the day, finishing third before jumping ahead of Bird on the charge down to the first corner to sit second.

Vergne held off the Briton throughout the race to cross the line second, marking his first podium finish since the London ePrix at the end of season one, much to his relief.

“It’s really important for many reasons,” Vergne told NBC Sports after the race.

“First of all, a podium in France is something pretty amazing, especially in Paris.

“And then it’s important for me also because it points out the turning point of the season where I had a lot of negative things.

“I worked a lot on myself to get things towards me, and it worked out pretty well this weekend. Now I intend to keep the same spirit for the rest of the season.”

DS Virgin Racing team principal Alex Tai also said that the result would have a positive psychological on Vergne, coming good on the pace he showed throughout his first year in Formula E.

“It’s massive. He deserves it,” Tai told NBC Sports.

“He knows he’s got that latent experience and capability. What we need to do is keep that consistency there.”

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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