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24H Le Mans

ACO Adjusts Final Lap Classification Rule for 24H Le Mans

ACO adjusts final lap rule for 24H Le Mans in wake of dramatic 2016 finish..

Photo: Toyota

Photo: Toyota

The ACO has adjusted the requirements for classification in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the wake of this year’s dramatic finish that stripped the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of a podium result.

A new penalty system has been introduced for cars not completing the final lap in less than six minutes.

Cars will be given a one-lap post-race penalty if the final lap is completed between six and seven minutes in length, with two laps deducted if completed in seven minutes, four laps between nine and ten minutes, and ten laps between ten and 15 minutes.

Any car completing the final lap in more than 15 minutes, meanwhile, will be excluded.

The new rule comes into place after the Toyota’s final lap misfortunes, which saw Kazuki Nakajima stop on the start-finish straight with engine issues, while leading, and complete a 12-minute final lap but not classified due to the previous six-minute maximum time restriction.

With the 2017 rule enforced, it would have put the No. 5 crew of Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson third in the race, with a four-lap penalty tacked onto its result.

Among other items confirmed in the 2017 Le Mans Sporting Regulations, which was released last week, include a requirement for teams to make full driver lineup declarations by May 11. Any changes after that date would be granted at the ACO’s discretion, and subject to a 5,000 Euro fee.

The 2017 running of the French endurance classic is set for June 17-18 with the official test day taking place on June 4.

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 FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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