Photos courtesy Juncos Racing

Juncos Racing adds second driver, will run partial IndyCar schedule in 2018

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Juncos Racing announced Friday that it has chosen Austrian driver Rene Binder to drive four races in the upcoming 2018 Verizon Indy Car Series season.

A native of Innsbruck, Austria, Binder will begin his stint with the season opening race March 11 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He’s also slated to run the road courses at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as Mid-Ohio, and the street course in downtown Toronto.

“I have been a huge fan of IndyCar and what the series has to offer to me as a driver,” Binder said in a media release. “I had a hard decision to make this year on which path I would take in my career, and I am confident that I made the right decision.

Rene Binder

“Right now, we have signed for four races, but I hope to add more to our schedule as the season progresses.”

Binder comes to IndyCar from the World Series Formula V8 Series, where he earned four wins, five podium appearances and two pole positions. He finished the season fourth in the championship.

“Rene has a successful background running in the World Series V8 and GP2, along with the testing he has done within Formula 1, and I know he will carry that momentum into the Verizon IndyCar Series this year,” team owner Ricardo Juncos said. “The timing is right for a talented driver like Rene to join, as everyone will be starting over with the new IndyCar aero kits.”

Binder is a third-generation driver and joins 2017 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kaiser on the Juncos IndyCar effort in 2018. Binder will make his first test in an Indy car in late February, the team said.

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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