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Perez calls run to P6 in Malaysia ‘hardest race’ after sickness

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Force India Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez’s run to sixth place on Sunday in Malaysia was made all the more impressive by the fact he had been battling severe sickness all weekend long due to a stomach infection.

Perez was ill from the Thursday onwards at Sepang, but managed to qualify ninth before finishing as the leading midfield driver in the race, crossing the line sixth.

The Mexican feared he may be forced to retire mid-race due to how he was feeling, but was thankful to pick up another decent haul of points for Force India.

“It was probably the hardest race of my career, on a weekend in which I feared I would need to give up. It is an amazing result just to make it to the finish,” Perez said.

“I just kept going out of willingness to do it and I have to thank the doctors for helping me out.

“Having a good start was the key to my race and so was passing [Stoffel] Vandoorne during the first few laps. After that, I was able to manage my race and it was all pretty uneventful.

“We were able to extend the first stint and manage our tires well. I was only under pressure from [Sebastian] Vettel, but that was not really my fight.

“We scored some more important points for the team and I am happy to come home with a good result after such a difficult weekend.

“I hope to be back to full fitness in Japan.”

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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