24H LE MANS-- Keating Ford Stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am Win


Saint Ho

GT Owner
Feb 12, 2013
415
Paris FRANCE
Amen.

As I said in my first post, in 2016 I watched a Ferrari drive for hours without it’s proper exterior lights working, exactly like the Ford GT had done earlier in the race. The Ford was forced to pull in and sit for some amount of time (can’t remember the details). When the Ferrari’s IDENTICAL issue was pointed out the car was told to come in for a stop-and-go. The team manager and driver ignored it.

The Ferrari’s punishment? ZERO. It was in a tight race between three Ford GTs and it maintained its 2nd place standing, during AND AFTER the race.

So improper lights followed by ignoring a stop-and-go for Ferrari = ZERO CONSEQUENCES

Miniscule (let me repeat that: M-I-N-I-S-C-U-L-E) fuel and fuel timing issues for Ford equals disqualification.

Simple question Saint Ho — explain that to me in a way that doesn’t suggest anti-American bias by the rule makers.

I don’t want to overblow the situation...but I also refuse to ignore reality and give the ACO a pass on their bullshit.


Dear ENZO.



To answer you and try to close this nasty episode :



  • Again, I confirm that I consider the ACO's decisions to be scandalous and suspicious. On this point, everyone agrees.


  • But, again I regret that some people see anti-Americanism and generalize this to a European feeling. It is this kind of excess that draws people against each other and leads to the worst human behaviors whose history is unfortunately full.


  • While it is possible for the ACO to have difficult relations with Ford (as suggested here), there is no reason to extend this to a confrontational relationship in peoples.


  • This kind of excess is unfortunate in a community that wants to be international, dedicated to a positive passion, and which contains many great children amazed by their toy.


  • For me, as for most members of the European Ford GT Owners Club that I lead, the Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE AM category. We also see it as a fantastic encouragement to continue the Ford GT's career in private hands, as was the case for the GT40.


  • The excesses I regret, will not prevent me from continuing to make the effort to spend a lot of time communicating in bad English with a community without borders, and to rejoice to have so many American friends in love with France .


Best regards.

parade-ford-gt.jpeg
 

Gene Cassone

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Dec 3, 2005
729
way upstate NY
Sir,
Your command of English is quite good! Very well said!! Félicitations !
 

KennethClay

GT Owner
Oct 15, 2012
583
New York
I would like a pair of Wynn's socks!
I'm down for some flip flops.
 
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ENZO BTR

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 11, 2005
981
Southern California
Completely agree. I would love a world without excesses.

A big step in the right direction: don’t give people a reason to have excesses.


Dear ENZO.



To answer you and try to close this nasty episode :



  • Again, I confirm that I consider the ACO's decisions to be scandalous and suspicious. On this point, everyone agrees.

  • But, again I regret that some people see anti-Americanism and generalize this to a European feeling. It is this kind of excess that draws people against each other and leads to the worst human behaviors whose history is unfortunately full.

  • While it is possible for the ACO to have difficult relations with Ford (as suggested here), there is no reason to extend this to a confrontational relationship in peoples.

  • This kind of excess is unfortunate in a community that wants to be international, dedicated to a positive passion, and which contains many great children amazed by their toy.

  • For me, as for most members of the European Ford GT Owners Club that I lead, the Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE AM category. We also see it as a fantastic encouragement to continue the Ford GT's career in private hands, as was the case for the GT40.

  • The excesses I regret, will not prevent me from continuing to make the effort to spend a lot of time communicating in bad English with a community without borders, and to rejoice to have so many American friends in love with France .

Best regards.

View attachment 56177
 

Xcentric

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 9, 2012
5,209
Myakka City, Florida
Sir,
Your command of English is quite good!
True. Better than many Americans. Although there is something lost in translation in his signature line. :LOL:
 

DBK

The Favor Factory™
Staff member
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jul 30, 2005
14,661
Metro Detroit
It's not really a nationalism thing. I do think there is legitimacy to the shenanigans with IMSA teams, but it's a game about power and prestige. That said, those rules are known going in and if you can't navigate them, it's your fault.

Keep in mind, they railroaded Sebastien Bourdais' car too and he's not just French, he's the maximum hometown Le Mans boy.
 

w.a.nelson

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 29, 2008
827
Asbury, NJ and Bourne, MA
Egads!

Sorry to see this issue devolve to the political and personal level.

Sure, all of us are very disappointed and even angry, but these emotions should be offered in the spirit of commiseration, not confrontation.

Racing of all types is conducted under rules for a reason. Violations must be dealt with, oftentimes with perhaps not particularly well understood, discretionary decisions.

But, caveat Racer.
 

BtwoG

GT Owner
Dec 8, 2013
830
Atlanta, GA
Good insight

“The fire inside of me to win, to perform at the highest level, is brighter than it was a week ago. Today, I just want to go kick some ass just because it’ll make me feel better.”
 

THamonGT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
For those of you who haven’t followed Ben Keating until last week, he has accomplished a lot In many race cars but this one he made famous and I loved the Livery and you know why! There’s no drought in mind he will make the Ford GT even more famous! Stay Tuned!
 

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Ed Sims

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 7, 2006
7,251
NorCal
Ben Keating has a great outlook on what happened. Good man there.

Ed
 

DBK

The Favor Factory™
Staff member
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jul 30, 2005
14,661
Metro Detroit
No matter what, she looks good!



















 

THamonGT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Absolutely! Bad Assed!i love the Wynn’s Livery!
 

Gene Cassone

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Dec 3, 2005
729
way upstate NY
Agree! Maybe a future heritage option! ( since IT DID win its division)!
 

Raj Nair

Ford GT Team Alumni
Mar 10, 2015
43
I usually don’t comment for obvious reasons but I do feel I need to clear up a few points:

1. I’m not going to get into the details of the DQ. I think Ben Keating’s comments are spot on - totally a class guy. Yes, there were a lot of factors were in play but I know for a fact that this was not a Europe against America thing so let’s shut that down right now. In general, American teams receive a warmer welcome at Le Mans than any other track/international series that I know of.

2. The safety car impact is a real problem for racing at Le Mans(which the ACO is working on) but please note that as much as the Ford GT’s in GTE-Pro got hurt by the safety car deployment, the Keating GT in GTE-Am actually gained.

3. The BoP will never be perfect but it is a necessary process for this type of racing. This year was one of the tightest GTE-Pro fields I’ve seen as far as race pace. We always would like to see it tighter but I actually think the organizers did a good overall job with this year’s race BoP as far as lap times. We intentionally designed the GT to be hard to BoP especially in aero, but in retrospect, that may have been a mistake. The rules makers had to take such drastic actions on weight and hp to get the GT’s lap time up and trap speeds down that it made the car very hard to race, especially in traffic and coming off the low/mid-speed corners. Lesson learned.

4. In racing, there will be times that you do everything right and you still don’t win. Then there will be times where you totally screw up but still somehow manage to pull it off. Putting aside the post race issues, this year the GT’s were better prepared than any other year we’ve been there. The crews did an amazing job on the stops, especially the fastest brake changes of anyone in the field. All the drivers basically drove a mistake free race. The race engineers all called the best race strategy possible. And this was across all 5 cars. Given the quality of that effort, despite the result, I’m just as proud of the teams in 2019 as I was of them in 2016. Sure, losing sucks. I hate it - a lot. But in racing, you’d better love winning more than you hate losing or you’re not going to last long. Yes, there will always be critics of what we could or should have done differently. The criticism is usually from people who have never run a program; or designed/engineered/built a car; or raced it on the track against the best in the world. It doesn’t change the fact that we’re proud of what we did and we hope that you are too. Our energy is now on to the next race and challenge.

6. Finally, thanks for all the support from all of you. It’s been an amazing ride!
 

Vince H

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 23, 2012
2,320
Southern California
Admittedly, I was angry about the #85 car DQ when I first heard. Now that a little time has gone by and I've had a moment to reflect, I have to say my family and I had an incredible time this year at Le Mans. No doubt the Ford hospitality of '16 and '17 will always be the 5 star treatment. However, this year getting to spend so much time with Ben Keating and his Wynn team was something very special as well. My kids got to see why their Dad loves to watch and read about GT racing so much and they had a great time. (Priceless in my book.) I will say it again and again for all at FMC, CGR and Multimatic who are listening, thank you for building the new GT and most importantly racing it! I never thought that this would ever be a possibility.

Thank you to everyone who were so very kind to my kids as well. They had a great time. Susan and I really appreciate all the time and kindness you showed them. As always thanks DBK for all the little things you do for our group that go unnoticed. I'm sure we benefit from these efforts continuously and never realize it's you that is pulling it together. This will probably be our last trip to Le Mans because we are Ford GT fans but what a privilege to have witnessed it. The Ford GT and Ford GT Forum rule!

Vince H
 
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THamonGT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Thank You Raj for your comments! Your comments should put a whole new look into the situation and the race. Who better to dispel comments of treatment other than the man sitting right in the middle of everything! Thank You very much. Let’s all move on the the next race.
The excitement of Ben Keating And his team should give the Ford GT Forum And the Nation wide GT audience a new perspective in GT Racing, it sure has for me. Their first class in every way and every is so proud of their racing, as well as their after disqualify attitude and statements. Thank You again Raj?
 
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Saint Ho

GT Owner
Feb 12, 2013
415
Paris FRANCE
Thank you Mister Jaj Nair for the elegance and the intelligence of this brilliant comment.

This reminds me of the kindness and the simplicity with which you received me, in the pit stand at Le Mans in 2016.

Best regards from France.
 

Xcentric

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 9, 2012
5,209
Myakka City, Florida
Raj Nair single-handedly reverses wave of anti-European sentiment. Averts Franco-American war. Nobel Peace Prize nominee!
 

Cobrar

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jun 24, 2006
3,885
Metro Detroit
Been mulling this over (and over) since leaving France.

I sincerely appreciate the comments by Raj and I concur on many of his observations and points.

Where we may have a different perspective is where we must accept that the spirit of true competition can be somehow be displaced by subjective criteria to equalize areas, where frankly, they shouldn’t be.

One of the major reasons I bought my GT was the tremendous effort the Ford Team put forth into designing a true thoroughbred, without compromise in mind.

Partial comment from Raj: ....”We intentionally designed the GT to be hard to BoP especially in aero, but in retrospect, that may have been a mistake. The rules makers had to take such drastic actions on weight and hp to get the GT’s lap time up and trap speeds down that it made the car very hard to race, especially in traffic and coming off the low/mid-speed corners. Lesson learned.”

I think that is where BoP fails, miserably. My chosen manufacturer did the right thing, it engineered with the express intent to innovate and create competitive advantage, within the rules, and it did so.

There are ‘No lessons to be learned’ by Raj, MultiMatic, Ford, or their race fans.

In my opinion, It’s the Sport that suffers when a sanctioning body aggressively seeks to create an artificial equality in performance by re-balancing attributes with the few ‘levers and pulleys’ at its disposal.

I hope that Ford returns to LeMans one day and I trust that the sanctioning body will come to a more practical approach to defining a sustainable and meaningful definition of Competition.
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
5,084
Las Vegas, NV
I think that is where BoP fails, miserably. My chosen manufacturer did the right thing, it engineered with the express intent to innovate and create competitive advantage, within the rules, and it did so.
There you go!

Make a book of rules. Clearly define the boxes and the boundaries.

Then let the manufacturers and designers go for it. May the best solution win.

That's what happened in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 with the Ford GT, and 1970 and 1971 with the 917.
 
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