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Bronze-rated Keating not curious about racing ‘scary’ LMDh automobiles once more

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Gentleman driver Ben Keating says he isn’t curious about racing an LMDh automobile once more after being left “scared” by his first expertise on the Daytona 24 Hours this yr.

Keating joined JDC-Miller within the flagship GTP class for the opening spherical of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, piloting a buyer Porsche 963 LMDh alongside Richard Westbrook, Phil Hanson and Tijmen van der Helm to sixth general.

The 963 was the most recent automobile Keating has pushed in an illustrious racing profession that has featured him sampling all kinds of equipment on either side of the Atlantic.

He’s identified for attempting 9 totally different automobiles up to now 10 years on the Le Mans 24 Hours, a race the place he has two class victories to his title.

However the 52-year-old has dominated out one other look within the high prototype class in both IMSA or the World Endurance Championship, together with his Daytona look exhibiting him why LMDh automobiles are greatest left for skilled racers.

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“I did it in January at Daytona, I drove the Porsche LMDh – I am glad I checked that field, however I actually didn’t benefit from the expertise,” he informed Autosport at Le Mans the place he raced an United Autosports ORECA-Gibson 07 in LMP2.

“I take pleasure in pushing my limits, I take pleasure in feeling like OK the automobile is able to far more than I’m and I can actually push the bounds of myself in a race automobile.

“And the LMDh automobile, pff! I felt like I am scared. Each nook, each brake zone.

“As a result of the automobiles are heavier than LMP2, as a result of the tyre doesn’t have as a lot grip as LMP2, it is brake-by-wire so I haven’t got feeling for what’s going on with the brakes.

“My solely job as a bronze driver driving the LMDh is to not wreck – nobody is anticipating me to be as quick as all the opposite individuals.

#23 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson: Ben Keating

Photograph by: Nikolaz Godet

“And I’d say that in an LMDh automobile that may be a onerous job, it is onerous to not wreck that automobile.

“I watch all of the Hypercar drivers spinning in qualifying [at Le Mans]. I do know what that is like. These are actually good drivers, however that automobile is de facto onerous to drive.

“I checked that field, I do not want to try this once more.”

Keating is now a veteran of 14 Daytona 24 appearances, and on eight of these events he was entered in two totally different classes concurrently.

This yr, as an illustration, he drove an ORECA within the LMP2 class for United Autosports alongside his JDC-Miller duties with the Porsche 963.

However, whereas he isn’t curious about returning to the GTP division, he has not dominated out collaborating in two courses concurrently once more.

“I’ll double responsibility however most likely not in a hypercar,” he mentioned.

This could possible contain combining his LMP2 programme with an look within the GTD class reserved for Professional/Am crews. Keating final raced a GT3 automobile at Daytona in 2021, when he joined TF Sport in an Aston Martin Vantage as an extension of his full-season programme in WEC with the British outfit.

“I did that a number of years in the past, in 2021,” he mentioned. “The issue is it requires about 10 hours of driving, which is rather a lot.”

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