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IMSA alert to “deterioration of driving behaviour” after Watkins Glen pile-up

IMSA has vowed to take more action if it sees any “further deterioration of driving behaviour” after LMP3 driver Alex Kirby was placed on probation for four races.

#38: Performance Tech Motorsports, Ligier JS P320, LMP3: Christopher Allen, Connor Bloum, #96: Turner Motorsport, BMW M4 GT3, GTD: Patrick Gallagher, Robby Foley, Michael Dinan

In the previous event at Watkins Glen, Kirby sparked a four-car crash that took out two Lamborghini Huracan GTD contenders and severely delayed Chip Ganassi Racing’s GTP Cadillac at the entry to The Boot section.

Kirby was determined by IMSA race director Beaux Barfield, in conjunction with IMSA supervisory officials, to have been responsible for the pile-up that enraged factory Lamborghini driver Jordan Pepper.

The shunt took his car out of contention for the GTD victory, and the South African labelled some of the driving standards in the LMP3 class as “unacceptable”.

“The LMP3 guy [Kirby] must’ve thought we were invincible or something, a bright green Lamborghini and a bright purple Lamborghini, and he just tried to drive over the top of us,” the Iron Lynx driver told NBC.

“It’s just unacceptable the level of driving in the LMP3 category. As whole, when you look back at IMSA racing over the past few years, there’s just so much crashing involving them.

“It’s a shame but an incident like that is just not acceptable in this level of sport. We speak so much about driving standards in driver briefings, but I don’t know what this guy was doing. There was zero gap and he just destroyed us.”

#63: Iron Lynx, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, GTD PRO: Jordan Pepper, Andrea Caldarelli

#63: Iron Lynx, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, GTD PRO: Jordan Pepper, Andrea Caldarelli

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

In its statement announcing Kirby’s four-race probation period, IMSA stated it “will continue to monitor all on-track conduct and will act accordingly and consistently should there be a further deterioration of driving behaviour”.

Going into this weekend’s IMSA SportsCar Championship round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, one of the most fearsome venues on the schedule, LMP3 cars will race once more alongside GTP and GTD cars.

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Kirby’s probation will also be in effect for all other IMSA series until his IMSA SportsCar Championship probation period is concluded.

The Californian is racing in the IMSA SportsCar Challenge event at CTMP for Performance Tech Motorsports this weekend but is not contesting the main event – which has a six-car LMP3 entry.

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