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Vergne open to adding endurance races to racing program in 2017

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Jean-Eric Vergne is keen to add more endurance races to his racing program through the 2017 season following his upcoming debut at the 24 Hours of Dubai in January.

Vergne has raced in Formula E since his departure from Formula 1 at the end of 2014, as well as working in a reserve driver role with Scuderia Ferrari.

The Frenchman was named on the entry list for the race at the Dubai Autodrome with GP Extreme, racing a Renault RS01 in the GT3 class alongside Jordan Grogor, Louis Deletraz and Nicky Pastorelli.

Speaking to Safe Is Fast, Vergne said that while his chief focus remains on Formula E with the Techeetah team, he wants to use the Dubai race to get to grips with endurance events.

“My main focus for now is Formula E. I’m with a team I believe is only going to get better and stronger, and I’m in a series that I believe is really driving the future, and I feel very lucky and happy to be a part of it,” Vergne said.

“I’m not sure what my program with Ferrari will be in 2017, but alongside that I would maybe like to do some more endurance races.

“I’m doing the Dubai 24 Hours in January to learn about how to race in a new format. I think it’s good that I start somewhere like that.”

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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