Keating gets 2019 DQ redemption with "special" Am win

Ben Keating says his GTE Am class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend feels like redemption for the 2019 victory he lost due to a post-race disqualification.

Keating gets 2019 DQ redemption with "special" Am win
Listen to this article

Keating had dominated the Am division of the 2019 running of the La Sarthe classic sharing a Riley Motorsports-prepared Ford GT entered under his own name alongside Felipe Fraga and Jeroen Bleekmolen, but was thrown out of the results on a pair of minor, non-performance related technical infrigements.

Three years on, the bronze-rated Texan racer finally stood on the top step of the podium again sharing his #33 TF Sport Aston Martin with FIA World Endurance Championship teammates Marco Sorensen and Henrique Chaves.

Reflecting on his triumph, Keating said that knowing he made the difference with a clean run during his time at the wheel of the #33 Vantage GTE - unlike many of his bronze-rated rivals - gave the win extra meaning.

Asked by Motorsport.com if his victory felt like redemption for his 2019 disqualification, Keating replied: "Absolutely. Somebody asked me what it feels like to win Le Mans, I told them this my second!

"Everyone knows we won it in 2019, the difference is this one will be in the record books. There’s something special about that.

"This race is special partly because we had a 100 percent mistake-free race, and I know I contributed to the win.

"I did a triple stint with four hours, 30 minutes to go, and getting out with 90 minutes left, and to see we had an 80-second lead with Marco in the car, knowing I did my job, that was really special."

 

Keating however was prepared to admit that he and his teammates needed an element of fortune to beat the second-placed WeatherTech Racing Porsche of Cooper MacNeil, Julien Andlauer and Thomas Merrill, who was by some distance the fastest bronze-rated driver in the field.

"What saved us from the #79 was the safety car with about five hours to go [triggered by Robin Frijns' crash in the WRT LMP2 car]," explained Keating. "We were off strategy with all the other cars, most of the others and just pitted and we got in their tail in the same safety car train, so we were almost a lap up.

"We got really lucky there. We gave up two and a half minutes in the last five hours, so they had the pace."

Aston Martin made it two cars on the podium in GTE Am as the NorthWest AMR squad of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard came home third behind the WeatherTech Porsche.

Dalla Lana was happy to admit his opposite number in the winning TF squad deserved his triumph.

"I have to give Ben his due, I think he was the difference today," Dalla Lana told Motorsport.com. "I think Marco and Nicki and David and Henrique were pretty similar.

"We had split a safety car split us, but we also had a moment in the night, David touched someone and broke the splitter. But I have to hand it to Ben. He deserves the win.

"The real surprise was Porsche. They should have won five different ways and just had that Le Mans fortune that I’ve known… they were so strong."

Read Also:
shares
comments
Hartley: Third Le Mans win just as sweet as first with Porsche
Previous article

Hartley: Third Le Mans win just as sweet as first with Porsche

Next article

Ogier may miss remainder of WEC season after Le Mans debut

Ogier may miss remainder of WEC season after Le Mans debut
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
When the moribund GTE Pro class stole the show at Le Mans Prime

When the moribund GTE Pro class stole the show at Le Mans

As the GT class faces a time of transition, it’s a good time to recall the greatest hits of the GTE Pro years that pitched manufacturers and top drivers into the tightest of duels.

Le Mans
Jun 9, 2022
The great Le Mans garagistes that challenged factory might Prime

The great Le Mans garagistes that challenged factory might

Glickenhaus is the latest in a line of small-time constructors to take on the big names. Here are some of the finest in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans
Jun 9, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
Why a fifth Toyota win at Le Mans is far from a certainty in 2022 Prime

Why a fifth Toyota win at Le Mans is far from a certainty in 2022

Toyota is the clear favourite for its fifth Le Mans 24 Hours success in a row, but not as much as it was in 2021. Although its opposition is unchanged, the credentials of Glickenhaus and Alpine have now been proven, while Balance of Performance tweaks have also served to level the playing field. Here's what we can expect at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the 90th edition of the endurance classic.

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021