Earl Bamber / Alex Lynn / Sebastien Bourdais, Cadillac V-Series.R, Losail International Circuit, 2024

Fifth-placed Cadillac disqualified 26 days after WEC’s season-opening race


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The Cadillac which finished fifth in the opening round of the World Endurance Championship four weeks ago has been disqualified from the race.

A post-race inspection discovered the diffuser strakes on the V-Series.R hypercar did not confirm to the specification previously supplier by the manufacturer. Team manager Stephen Mitas told the stewards in a video call last week chassis supplier Dallara had delivered two parts which had not been through their final quality control checks.

The stewards acknowledged there had been no intention to break the rules but noted the standard penalty for a technical infringement is disqualification. Sebastien Bourdais, Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn therefore lose their fifth place finish in Cadillac’s sole car.

The Cadillac is the second hypercar to be disqualified from the race. The number 93 Peugeot was also disqualified for being unable to return to parc ferme after it stopped on-track at the end of the race having run out of fuel.

The latest disqualification, 26 days after the race took place, promoted the number seven Toyota of Nyck de Vries, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway to fifth place. The number 50 Ferrari, number 35 Alpine, the second number eight Toyota and sole Proton Porsche all move up in the classification.

The BMW M Team WRT car of Sheldon van der Linde, Robin Frijns and Rene Rast therefore scored a point on its debut as it moves up to 10th place.

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Stewards decision

At post-race scrutineering a 3D scan was performed on car number two to analyse the bodywork compliance compared to the official manufacturer bodywork CAD model deposited at the car’s homologation.

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 a technical report number 16 at 03.03.2024 at 1:15am indicating that additional checks have to be made at car number two and an additional report will follow after finishing the scrutineering. The stewards received technical report number 17 which stated a breach of the Technical Regulations above.

On 16th of March, the stewards summoned the Team manager, Mr Stephen Mitas of car number two for a hearing by videoconference on March 20, 2024 at 03.00 pm.

During the hearing, the Team manager confirmed the measurements of the scrutineers and the analysis of the FIA and ACO Technical Delegates. He handed over a report from the Dallara Group which explains due to an error the two parts were delivered without a final Quality Control to the WEC Team of Cadillac.

The stewards consider no intentional behaviour of the competitor and the delivering company. Irrespective of this, there is a violation of the technical regulations, which was to be penalised with a disqualification. The other cars which finished behind car number two are [moved] up in the final classification.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Fifth-placed Cadillac disqualified 26 days after WEC’s season-opening race”

  1. Back when it was an actual sport teqms used to be able to use different spec bits from race to race providing they met the regulations.

    Now with all this homologation and development freeze nonsense you cannhave parts that still meet the regulations but are different to the homologated bits the team started the year with thus making it illegal.

    It’s a silly show over sport rule that goes against the very point of the sport which is to constantly develop and evolve the cars for performance. But you can’t have that now because someone could find an advantage…. Utter nonsense.

    It’s unbelievable how far the shows that used to be sports have fallen and how uninteresting and sterile they have become as a result. It’s no wonder there is less interest in motor sport as a whole as there used to be. They have taken away everything that used to create the interest that drew people in.

    1. They used parts that were different than the technical specs they delivered. That’s fair grounds for disqualification in any motorsport.

      1. @yaru I get the impression that the poster involved doesn’t particularly care for those details.

      2. @yaru I get that but my point is that regulation itself is nonsense and completely against the spirit of the sport.

        Back when it used to be an actual sport rather than a show teams were allowed to develop cars and alter the specification of it from race to race in the name of performance and so long as the parts met the regulations then alterations of the design of the cars from race to race was fine.

        The issue here is that the parts meet the regulations but because they were different to the original design of the car it’s a disqualification which is the bit i think is nonsense and against the entire spirit of the sport.

        They should be allowed to develop the cars and they should be allowed to use bits that are different from race to race so long as they meet the technical regulations. Having these silly rules that end up with new bits meeting the technical regulations but been deemed not legal because they don’t match the ‘no development allowed’ anti-sport regulations is the bit i think is silly.

        It’s like in F1 a team turning up with a new front wing which is fully compliant with the regulations but because it’s slightly different to the front wing design a year ago is deemed illegal. It’s complete sillyness.

        It’s just another anti-sport equalisation balance of performance show over sport nonsense ruling. Can no longer have teams developing new bits in case they find an advantage because it’s all about the show and not a sport anymore!

    2. its about brand control. The Rule changes are there for manufacturers to set timetables for their investments and payoffs. Its not racing, its advertising. The FIA is been taken over by the saudis/emerites because they are trying to buy influence every where, in various sectors/industries/political districts.

      I think I am starting to figure out why American manufacturers won’t touch F1, and why the more establishment types from Austria (Porsche/Merc/politicos) are going after Christian Horner. The guy is truly dangerous to the incompetent (aren’t even great social engineers) politicians running F1.

      Part of me loves European culture/history/lands, but a lot of the old school politicking and attitudes are really not great and are not helping things right now, during the ‘clamp down’ on energy supplies (pay more for less).

  2. I’m sorry, but if you have to take 26 days to figure out a car’s out of spec– You’re doing it wrong, and you look stupid doing it wrong.

    That’s ridiculous.

    1. Why? I’ve never understood this reasoning of the right decision not being made after the race. It was this pressure of “nobody wants to see the race decided after the checkered flag” that was the catalyst for the AB21 debacle.

      If it takes weeks or months to determine how to correctly apply the rules, so be it. Then you have the correct result and the correct precedent being set for the future so further such decisions can be made quicker.

      1. Yellow Baron
        30th March 2024, 1:43

        Well sounds about time to revise ad21 then lol

    2. grat, the actual process of reviewing the design and checking whether it conformed to the regulations only took a few hours. It was the process of then appealing against the original decision that has taken a significant amount of time, although, even then, the actual hearings themselves have taken a relatively small part of that overall time.

  3. sounds like someone threw them under the bus. I can’t see scrutineering looking at all the BOMs and doing every part.

    1. * my bad, they literally had the same parts but had not gone through quality control. Technically if the print allows for such tolerances and the part still passes Quality Control, the team’s, then I don’t think the FIA can complain, because it’s the FIA’s scheme that’s not cutting it.

  4. 3d scan in post race scrutineering. That’s actually a really great use of tech. F1 should be following that lead to prevent the plank wear debacle given they don’t have enough time to inspect all the cars. Who knows what else is flying under the radar.

    I wonder how long the 3d scan takes and what camera setup etc they’re using for it.

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