GRAND-AM issued Friday a pair of post-race penalties following a contact-heavy final few laps of last weekend’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Both the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette and No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche, which originally finished third and fourth in the GT class, have been handed a 22-second time penalty each due to deemed late-race avoidable contact with the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, driven at the time by Alessandro Balzan.
The ruling, equivalent to a drive-through penalty for each car, has dropped the Marsh and Park Place entries to 8th and 9th in the results and handed the Balzan and Leh Keen-driven Ferrari a podium finish. The Ferrari was involved in separate incidents in the closing stages of the two-hour and 45-minute race, resulting in rear bodywork and exhaust damage, while battling for a podium position.
According to a statement from Scuderia Corsa, GRAND-AM spent the week reviewing the series of incidents, with a ruling having been announced Friday.
“Every team deserves a fair chance to compete and the process that maintains this was appropriately implemented by officials,” said Scuderia Corsa team principal Giacomo Mattioli. “We ran a fantastic race on Sunday and are now focused on getting ready to go for the championship at our last race of the season at Lime Rock.”
The penalty, reflected in the official results issued today by GRAND-AM, has given Balzan an additional 4 points in the championship, moving the Italian to within 4 points of leaders Andy Lally and John Potter heading into the season finale at Lime Rock Park.