Josef Newgarden fastest, Colton Herta spins in first COTA practice

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Josef Newgarden posted the fastest lap of the first practice session for the IndyCar Classic with a time of 1 minute, 48.657 seconds.

He beat rookie Colton Herta by .137 seconds.

Herta was not on track at the end of the session, however. He spun and stopped on course in Turn 8 after an apparent engine lockup with 17 minutes remaining.

“There was no indication before it happened,” Herta told NBC Sports Gold and snapped his fingers to show its immediacy. “Literally, it just blew up. No loss of power, no nothing – and then there was nothing.”

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The red flag waved for 15 minutes. With two minutes remaining on the clock, IndyCar guaranteed that everyone who went out would get a green flag lap and the session ended under green.

Alexander Rossi (1:49.046), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:49.501) and Graham Rahal (1:49.508) rounded out the top five.

Felix Rosenqvist (1:49.685) was the second-fastest rookie in the session.

Rookie Patricio O’Ward posted the most laps at 10.

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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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