After winning the Bob Akin award in GT Daytona last year, Ben Keating received one of the two automatic entries to the 24 Hours of Le Mans that IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors are given. Joining up with Risi Competizione, Keating will take a Ferrari 488 GTE to Le Mans, racing under the Keating Motorsports banner.
Sticking with a strong driver pairing, Keating will take long-time co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen to the Circuit de la Sarthe in June. The third driver to take on the prestigious event is yet to be announced. This will be Keating’s fourth attempt at Le Mans after his team Keating Motorsport debuted in the blue-ribbon event last year with an LMP2 Riley Mk. 30/Gibson.
“It’s a big honor to receive an invitation to Le Mans and I’m very proud of that,” Keating said, upon the announcement. “There’s nothing like racing at Le Mans and to partner with Giuseppe Risi and his Risi Competizione with all their history and success is an exciting combination.
“When we started thinking about how we wanted to go to Le Mans this year, the idea of combining with Risi came up and I thought it was a great match.
“We reached out and spoke to Giuseppe and his guys and they liked the idea as well so here we are.”
The Keating Motorsports Ferrari 488 GTE will be the only car entered by the Risi Competizione team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the last two years, the team took a factory-backed car to take on the GTE Pro field racing under the Risi banner, having finished second in class in 2016.
“We have always gone to Le Mans with our own team and cars and have never really done an association like this with someone, but it just seemed like the right combination to enter Le Mans this way this year,” Risi said.
JDC-Miller Motorsports were the other team to receive an IMSA invite to Le Mans, but were forced to turn down their entry due to unexpected challenges.