Forgettable IndyCar Classic for Ganassi drivers

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Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas did not go quite as planned for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Felix Rosenqvist and Scott Dixon started the race in fifth and sixth place respectively, but neither driver would leave COTA with a satisfying result.

While neither really challenged for the lead during the 60-lap race, they still ran inside the top ten for the majority and appeared to be up for decent finishes.

That all changed when Rosenqvist and James Hinchcliffe clashed at Turn 19 on lap 44. After using the wide runoff area at the corner, Hinchcliffe struck the back of Rosenqvist’s No. 10 machine, sending it directly into the inside barrier.

The rookie driver, who turned heads after qualifying third and leading 31 laps en route to a fourth place finish in the season opener in St. Petersburg, was immediately out of contention and finished the race 23rd, five laps down.

Rosenqvist’s accident also brought out the first and only caution of the race, which was disastrous for the leaders of the race that hadn’t pitted yet – a group that included Dixon. Forced to pit under yellow, Dixon came out in mid-pack and could only advance to 13th by the finish.

“It wasn’t our best race with the PNC Bank team. I’m really not sure what to say about it. I’m pretty frustrated and not sure what else to say,” Dixon said.

With the poor results, both drivers dropped in the points standings. Dixon fell one spot to third and Rosenqvist fell from fourth to a tie with Jack Harvey in 10th place.

But the 2019 IndyCar season is still a young one, and both drivers hope to have their luck turn around in the next race on the schedule, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7 at Barber Motorsports Park.

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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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