IndyCar: Ed Jones cleared to drive at COTA

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AUSTIN, Texas – After suffering a broken ring finger during a hard crash in the season-opening NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10, Ed Jones of Dubai has been cleared to drive this weekend at Circuit of the Americas.

Jones drives the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet. He was examined by IndyCar Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows, who cleared Jones to compete in this weekend’s IndyCar Classic at COTA.

“We are hoping to come back stronger at COTA,” Jones said. “St. Pete was a challenging weekend, but we kept working through things and made really good progress. The team worked very hard to get me comfortable with the car, and I was very confident in it. It was unfortunate the way qualifying ended up and the crash was super frustrating, but we had really strong pace and the car was very good.

“If we continue working the way we did in St. Pete, I feel that we will have a solid weekend in COTA.”

Jones sustained a small non-displaced fracture of the distal fourth metacarpal in his left ring finger when his No. 20 Chevrolet hit the wall during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. AJ Foyt Racing driver Matheus Leist was also involved in the crash after he hit Jones car after it had come to stop following the first contact.

Jones met with a hand surgeon in Miami in the days following the race and had the hand properly splinted.

IndyCar Classic activities begin with practice on Friday. NTT P1 Award qualifying is scheduled for Saturday with the 60-lap race on 3.41-mile permanent road course taking place Sunday (1 p.m. ET, 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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