All chances of winning any titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship 2018/19 are over for the Dempsey-Proton Racing team.
The team has been disallowed all points in both the Teams and Drivers Championships so far in this season, after being caught cheating with the datalogger on the car, which sends data to the FIA during the race.
The cheating was first penalized during the 6 Hours of Fuji a month ago, where the scrutineers found that the datalogger was sending incorrect data regarding the refuelling times during the pitstops. The logger would consistently send times that were two seconds slower than the actual time.
They were initially awarded a time penalty at Fuji, sending both cars deep down the GTE Am ranks, but it was also announced that the FIA would investigate the case even further.
The last month as been used for digging deeper, and to as personnel from the team, and from Porsche.
Markus Stolzenthaler, head of Porsche Costumer Service, team owner Christian Ried plus the Technical Director for the team, Michael Ried has been in hearings, where they were asked to reveal who and why these modifications were made, but they didn’t want to answer that. They only pointed towards an external company, but didn’t want to reveal their name. The FIA specifically asked them several times to reveal that name, since you are not allowed to hide such things. But since none of the persons above wanted to inform the FIA, there was no other way than to remove all points, that the team has scored so far throughout the season.
FIA knows for sure, that this modification was in place at the 6 Hours of Silverstone plus at the 6 Hours of Fuji.
The team has been allowed to keep the race results from Spa Francorchamps and Silverstone, including the win at Le Mans with the #77, but they have been completely disqualified from the Fuji race result.
That leaves Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer, Matt Campbell, Giorgio Roda Jr., Gianluca Roda, Matteo Cairoli plus Khaled Al Qubaisi with zero points in the Drivers Championship.
Today’s ruling, in addition to the disqualification of TDS Racing from the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to their mechanical modification of the refuelling rig, sends out a clear message from the FIA and ACO/FIA WEC, that cheating is not tolerated at all.
There hasn’t been a single race this year in the FIA WEC season, where at least one car has been disqualified post race, due to some irregularity. It has certainly caught the eye of the FIA WEC and ACO, and they are ramping up the scrutineering more and more, as long as they keep finding errors, missing parts and/or cheating on the cars.
The Parc Ferme after the 6 Hours of Shanghai tomorrow will probably take a long time – after all, there are 4 months until the cars will be used again…