© FIA Formula E

Vergne: Victory out of reach for DS Virgin Racing in Berlin

Leave a comment

BERLIN, Germany – Jean-Eric Vergne felt content with fifth place in the Berlin ePrix despite starting the race from pole position, deeming that victory was out of reach for DS Virgin Racing on Saturday.

Vergne stormed to his first Formula E pole position in almost a year in qualifying, but lost out to eventual winner Sebastien Buemi in the early stages of the race.

Despite losing the majority of his front wing towards the end of the first stint, Vergne managed to battle his way to fifth place at the flag.

Vergne said that he was pleased with his result given the pace of the Renault e.dams and ABT cars as the title-fighting teams locked out the top four positions in Berlin.

“No it was not a missed opportunity. I think it was a great day,” Vergne told NBC Sports after the race.

“Obviously you start from pole, you want to be winning the race. But Paris to here, the track was more or less the same length, but you had four more laps. With our car, race energy was way too difficult.

“I tried to attack as much as I could today. I was extremely aggressive, even sometimes a bit too much. The two DAMS and the two ABTs were way too quick today.

“There was nothing I could have done to stop them. I tried as much as I could, but I couldn’t do any more. The pace was simply not there compared to those guys today. Maybe if there had been less laps it would have been a different story like in qualifying.”

Vergne said that the whole DS Virgin Racing team was happy with the weekend despite going from first and fourth on the grid to only bring home 10 points after an unplanned pit stop resigned Sam Bird to an 11th-place finish.

“The whole team was really happy with the weekend, especially qualifying,” Vergne said.

“I think we outperformed, so that was amazing, amazing feeling, really nice. P5 is the best we could have done.

“Considering the two teams ahead have two good drivers, I think today in the race they clearly had a better day. I did the job. I tried my max to block them. I was really aggressive in trying to do so.

“Therefore I’m really happy with fifth position. If we had the car to win and we don’t win, clearly we’re going to be disappointed, but today there is no reason to be disappointed.”

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

IMSA
2 Comments

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.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter