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Two Ford GTs Caught Cheating at Le Mans


Well-known user
Ben Keating’s 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning No. 85 Ford GT in GTE class has been excluded from the final results.

An initial ruling by the ACO, the event’s organizers, assessed a time penalty that moved the GTE-Am victors from first to second in class. Team Project 1’s No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR was elevated from second to first.

The official reasoning behind the 55.2s penalty, which moved the No. 85 Riley Motorsports entry behind the No. 56 (after winning on Sunday by 44.9s) involved violations of the minimum refueling time set for the Pro-Am class.

With a minimum refueling time of 45 seconds established in the rules for all GTE-Am entries, scrutineers from the ACO have judged the No. 85 Ford to have completed its refueling in 44.4s per stop.
Using the penalty math supplied in the ruling, the 0.6s infraction per stop, multiplied by the 23 refueling stops made by the car during the race, multiplied by four, has arrived at 55.2s.

Rather than having a 44.9s win, the No. 85 appeared to be on its way to being entered into the record as losing to the No. 56 Porsche by 10.3s.

Also the No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT’s disqualification for excessive fuel capacity, been confirmed the No.85’s fuel cell was measured to have been slightly over capacity as well.

No mention of this was made in the minimum refueling violation documentation, but a second ruling, signed nearly 14 hours later, called for the exclusion of the No.85 Ford after citing its fuel tank, which was restricted to carrying a maximum of 96 liters, was measured at 96.1 liters.

According to the rules for the event, the 55.2s time penalty ruling cannot be appealed, but the exclusion is open to appeal.
However, in a hand-written note on the exclusion document, the team noted it would not pursue this avenue, making the decision final.

The No.85’s exclusion not only cements the win for the No.56 Porsche driven by Patrick Lindsay, Jorg Bergmeister, and Egidio Perfetti, but also moves the third-place JMW Ferrari 488 GTE driven by Jeff Segal, Wei Lu, and Rodrigo Baptista to second, and promotes the fourth-place WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GTE of Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander, and Robert Smith to third.

Said MacNeil upon hearing the news: “Not the way you want to get up on the podium.
But our WeatherTech Ferrari ran a flawless race and the drivers didn’t put a wheel off over the 24 hours.
The strategy and pit stops were great by the Scuderia Corsa team as well.


CCCUK Member
Obviously, I'm not a Ford fan, the car is not in teh spirit of teh rules and never has been.

But, cheating? NO! The fact is that the FIA/ACO changed the rules regarding fuel minimum the NIGHT BEFORE the race! Keating had no access to the specific instruments needed to recalibrate the tank on site, as this is normally done at "home base" in the US. They took a chance on getting it right, and alas, failed.

It is yet another example of what a farce the race has become and, the ignorance shown by so many press reporters etc about it and sports car racing in general.


Well-known user
I found it interesting that just hours before the race they BOP'd the Corvettes with more weight and
of all the cars only 2 Ford GTs are found with exact infractions as to amount of fuel in tanks and
the GTE one as to refueling rate.
Being there is like 25 plus pit stops over the race, a small extra fuel gain each time adds up and sure helps running up front when it counts
What is the odds for that ?

The #68 Ford GT has been deleted from the results in the American marque’s fourth and final Le Mans 24 Hours due to an apparent breach of fuel tank capacity regulations.

The #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA entry, raced by Sebastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller, finished fourth, heading a Ford 4-5-6-7 result in the GTE Pro class.

However a report from the FIA and ACO Technical Delegates following post-race scrutineering said that the “total on-board fuel volume [was] found to be in excess of the permitted limit".

The maximum permitted volume per the Endurance Committee Decision for the car was 97 liters, and scrutineering revealed the #68 Ford’s tank to hold 97.83 liters. (almost 1 liter per fuel stop)

Thus the stewards “therefore order the usual penalty for a technical breach of this nature and disqualify the competitor from the event.
The Stewards order the forfeiture of any prizes and trophies and that the final classification be amended and the order of the other cars behind the competitor shall be adjusted up.” The team does have a right of appeal.