No. 7 Arrow SPM team wins Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

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For the first time in 15 years, the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge was by a team other than Team Penske or Chip Ganassi Racing, as the No. 7 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team of Marcus Ericsson defeated the No. 9 CGR team of Scott Dixon in a best of three series to win the competition.

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The Arrow SPM crew won $50,000 for its victory in the final against Dixon’s team, which saw the No. 7 win the first and third rounds.

“It’s such a cool event,” Ericsson told NBC Sports following SPM’s first victory in the competition. “We managed to put on good runs every time. The No. 7 Arrow SPM guys just did amazing pit stops all the way through, so I’m so happy.”

“They [the team] work hard all year long, day and night, to give you a good car. They put so much into it, and a competition like today might be all fun and games but we still want to win. I’m so pleased for the guys.”

Since the inception of the Pit Stop Challenge in 1977, the winning team of the Pit Stop Challenge has gone on to win the Indy 500 six times, with the No. 3 Team Penske entry of Helio Castroneves the last to do so in 2009.

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Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified


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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