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Malucelli, Kearby Suspended for Sebring Accidents

Matteo Malucelli, Gaston Kearby suspended for one race, placed on probation…

Photo: Risi Competizione

Photo: Risi Competizione

IMSA announced Wednesday that it has suspended drivers Matteo Malucelli and Gaston Kearby for one race and placed both on probation for an additional race following their actions in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Both drivers were involved in separate accidents in the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Malucelli spun and backed his No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia into the Turn 1 barriers and rejoined in front of traffic, collecting a GTLM-class BMW and a Porsche GTD car.

Kearby, meanwhile, was at the center of the controversial mid-race accident between his BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 and Alex Taglaini’s RSR Racing PC entry, which saw the SCCA racer spin and rejoin in front of the open-wheel veteran in Turn 16.

The two PC cars were totaled in the wreck and Kearby issued an apology for his actions on Tuesday.

IMSA deemed both incidents to have violated Rule 48.4 (unjustifiable risk).

It’s unclear who Malucelli’s replacement will be at Risi for Long Beach, although the Italian driver was not listed in the car when the initial entry list was released last week.

With PC cars not scheduled to race in Long Beach, Kearby will be forced to sit out the next PC round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Anonymous

    March 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Well it’s small penalty but at least it’s something. I doubt Matteo will be driving for risi again anytime soon anyway and Kearby at least apologized and is actually trying to be build up experience.

    • Anthony Thomas (@djfourmoney)

      March 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Well if that is the case, (I sort of doubt it) who would they replace him with? The WEC/ELMS seasons haven’t started yet, so you can plug in Bruni or Vilander or even Davide Rigon.

      Both Gimmi and Toni have track experience so its likely they would get the nod.

      However, that wouldn’t solve the problem long term. Look Jamie Melo made some boneheaded moves in the past but was with Risi from 2006-2011, he was let go after wrecking the front row F458 in morning warm-up.

      It seems to me he’ll be back given everybody else has been assigned.

      • Travis

        March 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

        Plenty of drivers out there with Ferrari experience you named only a few. Matteo has been given to many chances I don’t care how much money he brings in if every time he gets in the car their is a high chance of it getting written off or heavily damaged you are better of without him. Even the race engineer for Risi said its time to get rid off the “jinx” thats been hurting them.

      • D.O.G

        March 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

        I’m rooting for Guy Cosmo.

        Come on Risi, Guy is your Guy!

        • Travis

          March 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          Hes Gold now but he isnt really fast enough to be in the GTLM class. He’s a good driver but not GTLM good.

  2. Bakkster

    March 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Surprised the probation is only for one race.

    • joshvc

      March 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Indeed. And I wonder how the affected race is determined too- supposing Kearby was only planning to enter NAEC races, he’s basically off the hook for free if he was never planning to be at Laguna Seca. I guess it’d be impossible to do it any other way, since the gentlemen pop in and out all the time.

      • Bakkster

        March 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        And hence a season-long probation is the only effective method.

  3. joshvc

    March 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    This is right and good, but in the future there need to be in-race penalties for similar moves that don’t result in damage. I think it was Eric Lux who hit the Turner BMW after a spin, and Scott Dixon pulled out into traffic in the dark, luckily was avoided. No penalties in either case, which only encourages more of it.

  4. 917

    March 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    lmao wow these idiots need to be suspending management and race directors.

    • Jon

      March 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Agreed 100%

  5. Mark

    March 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I love it, now these idiots get what they deserve!

  6. D.O.G

    March 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I wonder what does IMSA’s Rule 34 say…

    • Flagger Dave

      April 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Car porn. Lots of it.

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