Longtime North American sports car entrant and driver Ben Keating will shift his attention to the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season with the Project 1 team, ending his full-time participation in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The Texan will start his new journey with Project 1, the defending GTE-Am champions and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winners, with his familiar teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, on September 1 at Silverstone.
Keating, who is competing this weekend in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Bleekemolen at IMSA’s GT-only event at Virginia International Raceway, will complete the remaining IMSA rounds on the calendar while embarking on his first WEC tour.
“Sometimes it’s about something new,” he told RACER. “Next weekend I am starting a full season with Project 1 in the Porsche 911 RSR, and I am finishing out my commitment to Bill Riley, and IMSA, and AMG, and Wynn’s, for the rest of the season. For the next few months, I’ll be doubling up and doing a ton of driving.”
Keating was a catalyst in bringing Mercedes-AMG to IMSA’s GT Daytona class with Riley Motorsports, where he’s placed as high as third in the GTD championship with the front-engine V8 coupe. The upcoming departure of Keating Motorsports from IMSA with Bleekemolen will present Riley with an all-new lineup for 2020 that will be announced in the near future.
With significant gaps in the WEC calendar playing to his favor, Keating is working on a plan to take part in IMSA’s season opener at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“Beyond that, ideally, I’d be in two cars at Daytona,” he continued. “I’ve done that five times in the last seven years. That’s my favorite race of the season, and that’s because my skillset works really well there. It’s my hope to finagle myself into two cars, but at this point, I don’t have myself into any car. I have a lot of prospects I’m looking into.”