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IndyCar drivers fare well in 12 Hours of Sebring

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There may not be an NTT IndyCar Series event this weekend, but it wasn’t an off-weekend for some of the series’ brightest stars.

Five full-time IndyCar competitors competed in Saturday’s 67th running of the Twelve Hours of Sebring, America’s oldest endurance race and the second event of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Alexander Rossi, sharing the No. 7 Acura DPI for Team Penske with Ricky Taylor and Hélio Castroneves, was the highest-finishing IndyCar regular, finishing fourth overall. 2016 IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud’s run in the No. 6 DPI for Penske helped the team finish ninth.

Sébastien Bourdais, in the No. 66 Ford GT for Chip Ganassi Racing, hit the podium with a second-place finish in GTLM. Bourdais shared driving duties with Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand, who took the checkered flag behind the wheel.

Defending IndyCar champ Scott Dixon was part of the No. 67 Ford GT team’s sixth place in GTLM (15th place overall). Dixon shared the car with Richard Westbrook and former IndyCar veteran Ryan Briscoe.

Finishing just behind the No. 67 was the No. 25 Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan BMW of Tom Blomqvist, Connor De Phillippi and IndyCar rookie Colton Herta. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona champions couldn’t make it back-to-back victories, as the team finished the race seventh in GTLM and 17th overall.

Though no IndyCar drivers found their way to victory lane Saturday night at Sebring, they still proved that they know how to compete with the IMSA regulars.

Rossi, Pagenaud, Bourdais and Herta each set the fastest laps for their respective teams.

Next weekend, all five drivers will return to work at their day jobs, as the NTT IndyCar Series roars into Austin, Texas, for the inaugural IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas. Coverage will begin Sunday, March 24 at 1 pm ET on NBCSN.

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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