Bill Ford reacts to Keating's Le Mans disqualification

Ford executive chairman Bill Ford has expressed disappointment at the decision to disqualify Keating Motorsports' winning GTE Am entry from last weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Bill Ford reacts to Keating's Le Mans disqualification

The statement from executive chairman Bill Ford, the great-grandson of company founder Henry, follows the exclusion of the Keating Ford GT when its fuel tank was found to be oversize in post-race scrutineering on Monday. 

The fuel capacity of the car was measured by the scrutineers at 96.1 liters, 0.1 liters greater than the permitted maximum for the car, during their first check and then "greater than 96.1 liters" during a more thorough second check. 

Ford said that to have an "incredible result taken away from them based on the thinnest possible margin of error is disappointing".

He added that the team, whose entry was driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, "can leave Le Mans with their heads held high" and that "Ford are very proud of all they accomplished".

The team explained to the stewards that the capacity of the tank had been calibrated in the USA before being shipped to Le Mans. 

It was repeated in Le Mans after a reduction in fuel capacity as part of a Balance of Performance change, but the calculations were based on the weight and density of the fuel rather than measuring the volume.

Keating is not appealing the decision.

The Keating Ford run by Riley Technology had also received another penalty that was superseded by the exclusion. It received a time penalty for undercutting the minimum refueling time of 45s allowed in GTE Am, which would have relegated it behind the Project 1 Porsche that finished second on the road. 

The refueling time for the Ford was found to be 44.4s and the cumulative advantage was multiplied by four to give a time penalty of 55.2s. 

The Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti finished 44.9s behind the Ford. 

The #68 Ganassi Ford GT that finished fourth on the road in GTE Pro in the hands of Dirk Muller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais was also excluded for a fuel tank infraction. 

The capacity of its tank was found to be 0.83 liters over the 97-liter maximum. 

The GTE Pro class had also been subject to a BoP change that affected the fuel capacities and the team stated that it was unable to undertake a calibrated check at Le Mans.

shares
comments
De Vries felt "hopeless" in high-speed Le Mans crash

Previous article

De Vries felt "hopeless" in high-speed Le Mans crash

Next article

Keating explains win-losing tech error, vows Le Mans return

Keating explains win-losing tech error, vows Le Mans return
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021