Alexander Rossi tops action-filled COTA Practice 3

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Final practice for the IndyCar Classic was adventurous with off-course excursions and spins, but when the checkers waved to end the session, it was Alexander Rossi at the top of the board with a lap of 1 minute, 46.915 seconds.

“All of our figuring out was kind of done yesterday because our warmup was moved to last night instead of Sunday morning,” Rossi said on NBC Sports Gold after the session. “I hope we got enough done and enough understanding, but right now all of the focus is on qualifying.”

He beat Felix Rosenqvist (1:47.054) by .136 seconds. Rosenqvist was part of the highlight reel, after climbing on top of the curb in Turn 9 and eventually falling off into the grass.

Watch the race on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN or at NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app

With no track limit in Turn 19 in Saturday’s practice, several drivers tested that boundary, which contributed to several drivers sweeping wide.

As soon as the cameras in the NBC Sports Gold coverage cut to Graham Rahal, he spun with 26 minutes remaining in the session. He wound up third with a lap of 1:47.440.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:47.536) and Josef Newgarden (1:47.537) rounded out the top five.

It was an important session for Colton Herta after experiencing an engine failure in Practice 1 and missing Practice 2 while making the powerplant change. He landed 12th on the chart with a lap of 1:47.810.

Marcus Ericsson crashed with four minutes remaining in the session as Turn 19 finally exacted its revenge.

Next up is qualification on NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET.

Click here for complete results
Click here for combined results from Rounds 1-3

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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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