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Matteo Malucelli one of two drivers banned for Long Beach USC race

Matteo Malucelli, USC 2014Matteo Malucelli is one of two United SportsCar Championship drivers to be suspended for the next round after taking what were deemed avoidable risks at the Sebring 12 Hours.

Ferrari racer Malucelli and Prototype Challenge driver Gaston Kearby have been banned from taking part in next month's Long Beach USC round and placed on probation for one more race after causing major accidents.

The Risi Ferrari 458 Italia was narrowly avoided by the Rahal BMW Z4 of Andy Priaulx and hit up the rear by the Porsche 911 GT Americas driven by Christina Nielsen as Malucelli rejoined the track following a spin at Turn 1 late in the third hour.

Both cars involved in the impact were immediate retirements as a result.

Kearby, who was driving an PC class ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09 for the BAR1 Motorsports teams, was collected by the similar RSR Racing entry of Alex Tagliani as tried to spin turn his car back onto the track after an off at Turn 16.

The two FLM cars also took no further part in the race.

Malucelli and Kearby have been sanctioned under article 48.4 of the USC rulebook.

It states that "any participant who, in the sole opinion of the race director, engages in any behavior deemed to represent an unjustifiable risk or reckless endangerment may be warned or penalised".

IMSA, the USC's sanctioning body, has opted for the most severe punishment available to it for Malucelli and Kearby in the form of suspension.

Malucelli's drive with Risi is known to be in doubt, although the team has yet to comment on his future.

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