Photo courtesy John Force Racing

NHRA: Brittany Force released from hospital, to recuperate at home for next week

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Reigning NHRA Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, who was involved in a hard lateral crash during Sunday’s first round of eliminations in the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, was released from a hospital on Monday after spending a night for observation and additional tests.

According to a team media release issued Monday afternoon, Force suffered no lingering effects from the hard lateral impact except overall lingering soreness. Her Top Fuel dragster crossed into the opposite line and slammed sideways into the hard wall, bounced off, spun, slid back to the right lane on its side and eventually landed wheels up after sliding through the finish line area.

Force, 31, suffered no major internal injuries although she does have minor lung bruising. She was transported by ambulance after the wreck from Auto Club Raceway to a local Pomona, California hospital where she was held overnight as a precaution.

A CT scan was negative and an MRI showed findings from previous injuries.

The team said Force, daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, will continue to recuperate for the next week at her home in Yorba Linda, California.

The next NHRA national event is Feb. 23-25 in suburban Phoenix. Brittany Force is expected to take part in that event.

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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