Winning GT car excluded from Le Mans

Dick Barbour Racing, whose car dominated the Le Mans 24 Hours GT class, has been removed from the results after fuel tank irregularities came to light

Winning GT car excluded from Le Mans

The fuel tank was found to be slightly over the 100-litre limit on inspection by the ACO after the race. Barbour claimed the temperatures experienced across the race, and the rigours subjected to it by 22 refuellings in 24 hours affected the capacity of the cell. The 2000 event was the hottest Le Mans on record.

Despite the ruling, team boss Dick Barbour remained philosophical: "We respect the institutions and traditions of Le Mans, and we will not be appealing. If we were outside the rules, we were outside them."

The new result elevates the Japanese Taisan team to first in class, and Briton Johnny Mowlem's team Skea Racing to second. "We couldn't believe it was Barbour when we heard about the exclusion," said Mowlem.

The exclusion of Barbour is the culmination of a bizarre end to the race, in which two of the top four were removed from the results in totally unrelated circumstances. The Habethur Racing Porsche had been second in class, but ran a lap with the bonnet folded back over the windscreen, and eventually collided with the Taisan car. Though Habethur were several laps ahead of the Skea car, they were unable to take the chequered flag, and consequently not classified.

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