Ben Keating just finished the 24hr of Daytona in 2 different cars, a LMP2 Oreca 07 and a GTD Mercedes AMG-GT3 Evo. In the former class having finished P2, being a Bronze driver, he was so fast that the LMP2 winners praised specially him.
DragonSpeed’s Henrik Hedman was quick to compliment Keating’s driving, acknowledging his astonishing pace, which, let’s not forget, came in a race in which he drove two cars in two classes. (The Texan also drove Riley Motorsports’ GTD Mercedes-AMG.)
“What he (Ben Keating) did in this race in LMP2 was just amazing,” said Hedman afterwards. “I’m actually disappointed in myself. I didn’t perform at the level I should have compared to Mr. Keating.
“He is a Bronze driver, but his performance was on par with Gold drivers. Unbelievable. All kudos to him. They (PR1) were unlucky, but at the end of the day we had the crew to do this.
The demise of PR1’s challenge this year came, ironically, at the hands of the driver who catapulted the team into the lead in the first place. Keating turned heads in the opening stages, single-handedly building a comfortable lead at a pace consistently 3-4 seconds a lap quicker than his amateur counterparts in the other four LMP2 cars. He had lapped one of his Bronze-ranked peers by the end of his second stint.
Largely thanks to Keating, this race quickly became a fight between three ORECAs and later a straight fight between DragonSpeed and PR1 after Starworks’ 07 Gibson suffered a mechanical issue.
Give it up for this Texas dealership tycoon and highly respectable enduro racer. He deserves the plaudits