LE MANS, France – Keating Motorsports has confirmed the team will not appeal the team’s disqualification that cost them the 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Am class victory.
The team was informed on Monday that the No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT shared by team owner Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga had been disqualified because the total onboard fuel volume was in excess of the permitted limit.
“As disappointed as all of us are at Keating Motorsports, we have elected to accept the ACO’s decision regarding the disqualification of the No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT from first place in the GTE-Am class in this past weekend’s 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Keating. “Our intention every year at Le Mans, and in every race in which we participate each season, is to compete within the parameters of the rules and with an overall spirit of sportsmanship and professionalism.
“The Keating Motorsports team verified repeatedly before the start of this year’s race that the fuel cell on the No. 85 was at 96 liters in maximum capacity. The fact is that our fuel cell capacity and fuel fill time were both at the proper limits at the beginning of the race.
“However, the new rubber bladder inside the cell expanded by 0.4 of a liter during the race, and our new fuel rig got more efficient by 0.6 seconds after being used a bunch of times over the course of the race’s 24 hours. It is a tough situation, but we failed to build in any margin for error. We were at the limit because we didn’t feel like we had any margin to give.
“Any minute gains from these changes were not factors in what was an otherwise outstanding race for the Keating Motorsports team, our drivers and enthusiastic and supportive sponsor partners. We are proud of our overall performance in the race and believe we clearly showed for nearly the entire 24 hours that we were the team to beat.
“Le Mans is a 24 Hour race that can sometimes be decided by less than a second or a few millimeters. We failed to account for any margin of error this year but won’t make the same mistakes again. We hope to compete in future editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for many years to come.”