The first portion of the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours entry list is set to be revealed on Monday, February 11 and, RACER understands, it will see confirmation of the first privately entered Ford GT in the GTE Am class.
The single-car entry will fulfill Ben Keating’s Auto entry for the race in June. The Texan IMSA regular campaigned an ex-factory SRT Viper in 2015, a Murphy Prototypes-run ORECA LMP2 in 2016, a Riley Multimatic LMP2 car in 2017 and a Risi Competizione Ferrari in GT Am last year.
If confirmed, the entry marks a significant shift in the outlook from Ford Performance on their current GTLM/ GTE Pro cars in what is set to be the final year of the joint IMSA/ FIA WEC program.
The potential Keating entry would mark the first time that Ford has permitted the car to be raced in private hands, and opens up the potential for additional future customer programs in the future in either GTLM in IMSA, and/or GTE Pro, or GTE Am in the FIA WEC.
Keating was one of several potential entrants to express an interest in acquiring a Ford GT in previous years to race either at Le Mans or in the case of other interested parties, the full FIA WEC.
Requests for comment from Keating were not immediately returned.