LeMans: Privateer, Risi Ferrari Teams with Keating for the French Enduro Classic
3X Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Risi Competizione returns to the French enduro classic this year in the GTE Am ranks.
Risi has confirmed it has no plans to field a Ferrari in GTE Pro this season and will instead link up with US driver, entrant Ben Keating to run 1 of the Maranello outfit’s 488 GTE cars under the Keating Motorsports banner.
Mr. Keating has decided to Team up with Risi after landing 1 of the 2 automatic invites awarded at the discretion of the organizers of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the Le Mans centerpiece round of the FIA World Endurance Championship on 16-17 June.
Mr. Keating, who competes in IMSA with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by Riley Motorsports said: “I’m a car dealer from Texas, working mostly out of Houston, and it just so happens that Giuseppe Risi is a car dealer from Houston.
“I race a Mercedes in IMSA, which is not an option for GTE, so it is a good match up to partner with Risi.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen, who was a race winner in the GT Daytona class in the IMSA SportsCar Championship last season, will be the Platinum driver in the Risi-run Keating Ferrari at Le Mans.
The 3rd driver alongside Messrs Keating and Bleekemolen, who have raced together at Le Mans for the past 3 years, will be announced at a later date.
Risi’s technical boss Rick Mayer explained that the Team, which finished a close 2nd in GTE Pro at Le Mans inY 2016, would not be returning in the premier GT class.
He said it was undecided whether the Le Mans entry would be made using the Ferrari with which Risi is contesting a limited IMSA program this year or one of its other chassis.
Risi has worked with privateers at Le Mans in the past: it ran US privateer Tracy Krohn’s entries in 2007-10, posting 2 of podium finishes in GT2.
The 2nd of the automatic Le Mans entries that can be awarded by IMSA has gone to the JDC-Miller Motorsports Team, which claimed 2 mid-season podiums last year with its Oreca LMP2.
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