Keating Partnering with Risi Competizione for 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Bid
He will pilot a Ferrari 488 GTE after an invitation to the French classic for winning the Bob Akin Award.
Ben Keating, driver of the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports car in IMSA GTD, has announced that he will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for a fourth straight year. He will drive with Risi Competizione in a Ferrari 488 GTE alongside Jeroen Bleekemolen, a prior Le Mans class winner and longtime co-driver of Keating's, at the June 16-17 event.
The Texan was given an automatic invitation to the race after winning the Bob Akin Award in 2017. This will be his second attempt at Le Mans in GTE-AM as he drove an SRT Viper GTS-R in the 2015 competition.
"It's a big honor to receive an invitation to Le Mans and I'm very proud of that," said Keating. "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."
Giuseppe Risi, a fellow Houston-based dealer network owner, has a pedigree of success at Le Mans having won three times in the past.
"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 ideas as well so here we are." Keating then mentioned that this will be his first time partnering with another team for Le Mans having run his own operations in years prior. "We have always gone to Le Mans with our town 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."
Keating will compete as the bronze-rated driver while Bleekemolen will fill the platinum role. The silver driver is yet to be decided but is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 16-17 with the full entry list dropping on June 9.