Tuesday 24 January 2017

Keating Motorsports confirmed as 14th invited team at Le Mans

This afternoon, the ACO confirmed the list of 14 auto-entries for this years Le Mans 24 Hours on June 17-18th. 

14 teams have already won an invitation to participate in qualifying for the 2017 Sarthe Classic. These have been awarded taking into account the results of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours, European Le Mans Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Asian Le Mans Series, the last round of which took place this Sunday, and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.

As reported last week, 13 entries were already known following the end of the Asian Le Mans Series. The remaining entry still had to be proposed by IMSA and has been appointed to Ben Keating Racing with the Riley-Multimatic LMP2. It's still to be seen of Keating will run the car on his own team, or in collaboration with Visit Florida Racing which is racing the same car in IMSA. Visit Florida Racing also planned to apply for an entry at Le Mans this year. Keating will be one of the three drivers, the other two still to be announced. Jeroen Bleekemolen is expected in the Riley (they share a Mercedes GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship). If Visit Florida Racing supports Keating at Le Mans, Marc Goossens could well be the third driver, reuniting the team that drove the Murphy Prototypes Oreca03 last year. 

This is the final roundup of the 14 cars invited: 

Porsche Team

Signatech Alpine 
G Drive Racing 
United Autosports
Keating Motorsports
Algarve Pro Racing
Tockwith Motorsports

Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Pro)
Scuderia Corsa (Am)
Aston Martin Racing (Pro or Am) 
JMW Motorsport (Pro or Am)
DH Racing (Pro or Am)
TF Sport (Am)

Each invitation will be confirmed only if the car in question is entered in one of the following three championships in 2017: Asian Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. 

The entries for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and European Le Mans Series have been open since Friday 16th December. The closing date is today Tuesday 24th January.  The complete lists will be announced live from Le Mans on Thursday 2nd February at 16:00 in exclusivity on the internet in a totally new innovative format. As of now the media and surfers can pose questions via the social networks using the hashtag #Endurance2017. 

Kristof Vermeulen.