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Cadillac disqualified from WEC opener in Qatar for technical breach

Cadillac Racing has been disqualified from the World Endurance Championship’s opening Qatar 1812Km round after nearly three weeks due to a technical infringement.

#2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Sebastien Bourdais

JEP / Motorsport Images

The #2 Chip Ganassi-entered Cadillac V-Series.R shared by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Sebastien Bourdais has lost its fifth place result at the Losail International Circuit after post-race checks revealed that the bodywork of the car didn’t comply with the homologated model.

In a report published on Friday, it was noted that "the result from the 3D scan and further investigation show that this rear diffuser strakes fitted on the left side and on the right side are higher (in Z axis) and misaligned (in Y axis) than the nominal value from the official bodywork CAD including the allowed tolerances".

The stewards received two technical reports in the early hours of 3 March, the night that followed the Qatar round, revealing that the #2 Caddy was in breach of article 3.11.2 of technical regulations.

Team manager Stephen Mitas was subsequently summoned by the stewards on 16 March, where Mitas confirmed that the measurements made by the scrutineering team was correct.

#2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Sebastien Bourdais

#2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R: Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn, Sebastien Bourdais

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

In its defence, Cadillac presented a technical report from chassis partner Dallara, who admitted that two parts were delivered to the GM brand without the final quality control checks.

Although the stewards accepted that there was no ill intent by either Cadillac or Dallara, a decision was made to throw the car out of the race as it still violated the technical regulations laid down by the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.

In response to the disqualification, Cadillac issued a statement: "During the FIA World Endurance Championship race in Qatar on March 2, the rear diffuser strakes on the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R were unintentionally out of specification relative to the homologated height. We have cooperated with the FIA and ACO and accept their findings."

The #2 Caddy is the second car to be disqualified from the 10-hour fixture in Qatar, with the #93 Peugeot 9X8 that looked set for finish stopped on track after running out of fuel also excluded from the results for a double violation of rules.

The DSQ for Cadillac promoted the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Nyck de Vries to fifth. It also means BMW picks up the final championship point, with the #20 M Hybrid V8 now classified 10th.

#54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 LMGT3: Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, Davide Rigon

#54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 LMGT3: Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, Davide Rigon

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

AF Corse slapped with  €60,000 fine for concealing operation staff in LMGT3

In a separate punishment, the AF Corse LMGT3 team has been handed a €60,000 fine for concealing three operational staff members over the course of the Qatar weekend.

During the race, the FIA Sporting delegate conducted an inspection and found that three people were seated behind computers and working on technical matters related to the race cars.

They did not wear pink wristbands, which are used to identify operational staff.

They presented themselves to the FIA as marketing and communication staff and revealed that their passes were issued by Ferrari.

Subsequently, the FIA inspected whether they had any involvement in Ferrari’s hypercar programme, but dismissed that suspicion after speaking to AF Corse team manager Bati Pregliasco AF Corse team manager and Ferrari representative Mauro Barbieri.

However, since they are engineers by profession, a  €60,000 fine was announced,  €30,000 of which is suspended.

The stewards reasoned that "the lie of the three engineers about their qualities presenting themselves as marketing people has no other meaning that an attempt to cover up the reality of their activity at the time they were surprised by the FIA Sporting Delegate."

They were initially declared by AF Corse under two non-operational lists of staff members, but were caught working on simulation and technical applications.

In a statement, the stewards noted that “these people appeared on the first non-operational staff list submitted to WEC sporting administration via Acotech by the team manager and the sporting director of VISTA AF CORSE respectively Mr Francesco Gromeneda and Mr Ron Reichert for the GT3 car #54.

“The list was refused on the ground that some of them were not non-operational staff as they are engineers and declared in this quality by the competitor himself. A second list was submitted by the competitor on which two engineers previously declared no longer appeared neither on the operational staff list nor on the non-operational list.

“This second list was also refused by the WEC sporting administration on the same reason as one engineer was always mentioned on the non operational staff list.

“Then the three names disappeared from the final lists (operational and non-operational staff) submitted by the competitor and were approved by the WEC sporting administration.”

Watch: BrrrakeF1 - Under the Skin of Endurance Racing's Advanced Tech

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