The June race at Le Mans will mark the primary time that the GT will run into non-public fingers, operated till now solely by Ford Chip Ganassi. Driver within the FIA Endurance World Championships and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar since its launch in 2016.
Keating gained an automated invitation to French Basic this 12 months, because of his win on the Bob Akin Award in IMSA in 2018.
This Bronze-ranked American, who was fielding a Ferrari within the GTE Am class at Le Mans final 12 months within the firm of Risi Competizione, shall be joined by his common teammates Riley Motorsports IMSA, Bleekemolen and Felipe. Fraga within the # 85 Ford for the WEC 2018/19 season finale in June.
"Final season, Ben gained the race at Le Mans, so we knew we may race," Bleekemolen advised Motorsport.com. "We used this time to seek out the very best mixture.
" Final 12 months, we briefly mentioned with Ford, however on the time, it was not doable for them to drive an additional automobile. They noticed Ben's velocity and the truth that he already had an entry. This has resulted in preliminary discussions and now the settlement has been reached.
"I feel now we have a very good probability to struggle for the win.It's at all times implausible to have the chance to race for a win at Le Mans and we're going to
"No one is aware of higher than me that many issues can go incorrect, however I feel we’re one of many favorites."
Bleekemolen a acknowledged that Keating will check his new Ford for the primary time at Sebring subsequent week, and expects the automobile to have been properly sorted by the Ganassi staff.
"[Ganassi] is a staff very excessive stage, one of many largest names in automobile racing, "continued Bleekemolen Penske, Ganassi and two Method One groups.
" I cannot wait to run for them. The whole lot has been ready to perfection, they know the automobile completely. I suppose we'll solely have to regulate the settings.
"Subsequent week we may have a check day at Sebring, after which we’ll work often within the simulator to get used to all of the buttons."
Ford's continued presence as a development web site each inside the WEC and the IMSA is questioned past 2019, this 12 months marking the fourth
Mark Rushbrook, international director of Ford Efficiency Motorsports, lately indicated that clients would probably proceed to drive the GTs by the tip of the manufacturing unit program.
"We imagine that the automobiles now we have as we speak if we don’t proceed to run as a manufacturing unit may develop into racing automobiles for patrons, and we’d assist, "Rushbrook advised Motorsport.com.
Gary Watkins' Further Report
# 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais, Mercedes-AMG Crew No. 33, Mercedes-AMG GT3, GTD: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Luca Stolz Felipe Fraga
Picture by: Richard Do on / LAT Photos