The Keating Motorsports GTE-Am entered Ford GT is set to run a retro Wynn’s livery at the Le Mans 24 Hours this June. This news adds to the return of Wynn’s colours to motorsport, running parallel to Ben Keating’s Riley Motorsport IMSA GTD Mercedes which is also running a Wynn’s livery this season (below).
Ben Keating, who is behind the effort, (the first customer programme for the GT), has high hopes for his first race with his new car and is excited by the prospect of running a standout paint scheme in the race.
“Wynn’s has a big presence in France, it’s a big market for them, so it’s great to bring that to the race,” he told DSC. “The reception from the livery in IMSA has been huge, everyone loves it, so I can’t wait to see what the fans think of it in France, the purple, the pink, the orange, are going to look great on the GT.”
Even after four years racing at Le Mans, in LMP2 and in GTE ranks, Keating says racing with Ford will make this year’s event stand out.
“This will be my fifth Le Mans,” he explained. “But it will be a unique experience. Before I’ve been in an LMP2 car and most fans don’t have a connection with a Gibson engine or Ligier for example, and even in a Ferrari, there were loads on the grid. This year I’ll be in the only Ford in the GTE Am class, I actually have a big connection to Ford through my dealerships, and the GT having so much history at Le Mans, makes it special. It’s like when I went with a Viper, the fan reception was so good.
“I could have gone back to Le Mans this year in a Ferrari, but I don’t sell those, I want to race what I sell.”
Keating has tested already the car, he and his teammates for Le Mans Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga spending a day at Sebring before it’s shipped to Europe for Le Mans. The car has a real pedigree, it’s the 2016 IMSA Ganassi chassis that won the car’s first race globally at Laguna Seca that year.
Great first day in the Ford GT. Really enjoyed the car and can’t wait for Le Mans! pic.twitter.com/S7HxTVkJ3V
— Jeroen Bleekemolen (@jbleekemolen) February 19, 2019
“The next time I drive it I’ll be at Le Mans! When we tested three weeks ago and spent time on the Ford simulator in North Carolina. We did a full day and it was awesome. I’ve driven a lot of types of GT cars and usually they feel similar in the GT3 specification box, but it is drastically different.
“It doesn’t have much power, it has a low centre of gravity. It’s a momentum car, rather than a point and shoot. It drives more like a formula car, which is why I understand why drivers get so angry if we hold them up!”
Beyond Le Mans, Keating says there are no plans yet for any additional races with the car. However, there’s potential for further programmes once the big race in June is in the rear-view mirror.
“We’re talking about lots of different options,” he said. “I can say that I am looking at it, studying it, but we need to get through Le Mans first. Nothing is planned yet, as what we have in June is such a big deal.”