Level 5 Motorsports gets GTD victory restored

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm •  Published: January 26, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — IMSA reversed a decision in the Rolex 24 of Daytona that initially stripped the Ferrari from Level 5 Motorsports of the GT Daytona class victory Sunday.

The No. 555 Ferrari took the checkered flag but was quickly penalized for what officials deemed was "avoidable contact" with the Audi from Flying Lizard Motorsports on the final lap.

The penalty made Flying Lizard the winner of the fourth-tier class in the United SportsCar Championship, and the team celebrated in Victory Lane as its four drivers hoisted their prize Rolex watches.

Level 5 argued no contact was made between the cars — a claim video replays supported.

Four hours after the race, IMSA's group of supervisory officials reversed the call.

"We came to the conclusion that ... it was a racing incident, one that was not deemed a penalty," said Scot Elkins, vice president of competition and technical regulations for IMSA.

Ferrari drivers Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Pier Guidi — who was behind the wheel on the final lap — remained at the track during the review and were on hand to get their watches after the lengthy delay.

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