Photos courtesy NHRA

NHRA: John Force Racing tweaks crew chief and assistants lineup for 2018

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With two defending championship teams ready to go for two in a row, John Force Racing announced a few adjustments to its crew chief and co-crew chief lineups Tuesday.

Here’s now the 2018 JFR lineup will look:

* NHRA Top Fuel champ Brittany Force’s dragster sees Brian Husen returning as crew chief, joined by new assistant crew chief Ronnie Thompson.

Alan Johnson will return as consultant to the team, which won four of six final rounds, as well as set the national speed record last season.

* NHRA Funny Car champ Robert Hight’s car will remain the same with Jimmy Prock as crew chief and Chris Cunningham as assistant.

The team reached seven final rounds last season, earning four wins, and also setting both the Funny Car speed and elapsed time national records.

* There has been a change on Courtney Force’s Funny Car team. Dan Hood returns as co-crew chief and will be joined with the addition of fellow co-crew chief Brian Corradi.

Corradi has three Top Fuel world championships to his credit, but had sought to return to the Funny Car ranks and return to work with former teammate Hood, who is married to John Force’s daughter Ashley, a former Funny Car driver herself.

“This move was a great opportunity for me and the timing just worked out,” Corradi said. “Danny (Hood) and I have a long history both on the track and with our families.

“I am excited to get back to Funny Car. This Advance Auto Parts team was very successful last year and I think we can be even better this season.”

* Lastly, John Force’s Funny Car will continue to be managed by co-crew chiefs Jon Schaffer and Jason McCulloch.

“We have a lot of talent top to bottom with our crew chiefs,” John Force said. “With that talent, hard work and a little luck we were able to come away from the 2017 season with the Top Fuel and Funny Car championships.

“We’re welcoming Brian Corradi to the team and back into the Funny Car world with Danny Hood. Now we are all going to work together, just like we always have, to put all four of these hot rods in as many winner’s circles as possible.

“I am excited to get to Phoenix (for this week’s preseason testing) and see where we stand. All these guys have been working hard all off-season and now it’s time to go racing.”

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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