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Ganassi Fined By GRAND-AM For Engine Violation

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On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 3:20PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Ganassi Fined By GRAND-AM For Engine Violation

The Grand American Road Racing Association has assigned penalties to the No. 01 team that will compete in the Daytona Prototype class at Daytona International Raceway this weekend. The penalties are because of a violation that occurred at the June 19 Rolex Series race in Ohio.  After the race an inspection found that the team was in violation of an engine eligibility regulation that names engine components and performance levels and must be strictly abided by.

Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett have had their points lead reduced to 7 as they prepare for Saturday July 3rd’s Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona.

The team was subsequently penalized 25 team points, drivers Pruett and Rojas were penalized 25 driver points, and BMW was also penalized an additional 25 manufacturer points. In addition a fine of $15,000 was assessed. The money will go to a camp for children who are chronically ill-Camp Boggy Creek which is GRAND-AM’s official charity.

In addition, a new rule was adopted stating that if any other teams with the BMW 5.0 liter V-8 engine participate in the race, they must be penalized an additional 75 pounds, for a total minimum weight of 2,350 pounds, (just as the Ganassi team was).

Some sources say that Grand-Am denies that there were any illegal parts discovered in the engine, and that the problem was in the performance arena where the engine was found to have 10 hp more than the BMW engine that had been previously tested at the beginning of the season.

Comments on the Grand Am website are mostly in favor of the team. Race fans feel that since no actual illegal parts were found, the team should not have been penalized, with comments such as;

“although it is boring to watch those guys win every race I don't think they should be penalized for simply having a better car than the other teams. Just look at how little wing angle etc they run compared to the others. That is why they are faster... "

"It would be easier to just keep adding weight to any car that wins races instead of making a smart team and good drivers look like they are breaking the rules and throwing a penalty.”

Another fan stated; "Lets face it, GA has done a poor job of developing an engine spec that results in equal "performance levels" for the BMW engine. That is simply why they are adding 75 lbs to BMW powered cars."

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