Race GTE-Am, World Endurance Championship WEC, round 8 at Le Mans, France
The Porsche customer team Project 1 has won the GTE-Am class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France). The No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the squad from the German town of Lohne had initially crossed the finish line in second place at the 87th edition of the endurance classic. However, at the final scrutineering, the original No. 85 winning car was disqualified due to a technical infraction.
2 separate stewards’ decisions, the winning Keating Motorsports Ford GT loses the victory, and after the disqualification, doesn’t even show up in the final results. At first, the #85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT was penalized for not meeting the complete fueling time. In the GT AM class, there is a minimum of 45 seconds fuel time. The Keating Motorsports fueling time was 44.4 seconds.. just below the minimum. This was penalized with the difference of 4 times 0.6 seconds per fuelstop. In total, the Keating Motorsport Ford GT had 23 fuelstops. That brings the total penalty time to 55.2 seconds. The No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey finished 44 seconds after the Wynn’s-liveried #85 Ford GT, in which owner-driver Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga shared driving duties. That penalty on it’s own was enought for the Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR to move up in the classification to rank first in class.
On top of that, there was another, even worse, penalty. During the post-race technical checks, the race stewards officially disqualified the #68 (Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA’s Ford GT) and the #85 (Keating Motorsports’ Ford GT) for breach of fuel tank capacity regulations. The fueltank exceeded the maximum capacity of 96 liter with 0.1 liter. Reason enough for the officials to disqualify the #85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT.
Now with 108 class wins, Porsche has cemented its position as the most successful manufacturer in the history of Le Mans. For the Project 1 customer squad, the debut season in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) concluded with a triumph in the GTE-Am class as well as with the drivers’ and team championship titles. “Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the perfect finish to our first FIA WEC season and makes our two titles even more precious,” says Bergmeister.
Porsche Factory Press Release with personal additions
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG