The race result of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 has had two significant changes.
Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA #68 and Keating Motorsports Ford #85 are both disqualified from the race due to breach of the fuel capacity regulations, which is specified in the BOP for the race.
It’s still quite limited regarding the informations, but ACO has just sent out a short statement, in which they inform that the rest of the results are still provisional, which indicates that more investigations are ongoing.
Ford #68 originally finished fourth in GTE Pro, while #85 won the GTE Am category.
We will try to keep on top of the news, and will bring more info when they are present.
Updated – Stewards documents show that the #68 was found to have a fuel tank capacity of 97,83 litres, whereas only 97 litres was allowed. They explained that their fuel tank capacity has been measured at their US facility before the cars were shipped over, but with a BOP change happening in race week, they had no other chance than to calculate the new size, and not actually double check it. Their tank size prior to the BOP change was 96 litres.
#85 was found to have breached two things. First of all, their minimum refuelling times has been just 44,4 seconds rather than 45 seconds. This was down to a wrong restrictor in the refuelling rig. The team got a total of 55,2 seconds of time penalty for that, which would have demoted them to second in the race. BUT on top of that, they fell foul of the same calculation error as #68 did, by going from 95 og 96 litres of fuel in race week. Their tank size was found of be of at least 96,1 litres, whereas only 96 litres was allowed for this race, with the race BOP in place. And the second breach resulted in disqualification from the race.
It does leave us with the question – did the other three Ford’s in the race comply with maximum fuel tank size? And if they did, why would just #68 and #85 have made the wrong calculations? And what about the other GTE competitors, who also got changes to the fuel tank sizes in race week?
So we might hear more in the coming hours and days – at least the results are still provisional.