Ben Keating qualifies second at Road America after another pole battle in No. 33 Viper GT3-R

Second-straight IMSA-best qualifying effort has Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen well positioned for today’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

Ben Keating qualifies second at Road America after another pole battle in No. 33 Viper GT3-R
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 8, 2015) – Ben Keating battled for a GT Daytona (GTD) pole right down to the wire for the second-straight IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race Saturday at Road America where he qualified second in the No. 33 ViperExchange.com/Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R for tomorrow’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

Round seven of 10 races on the 2015 IMSA TUDOR Championship GTD schedule, the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase airs live on FOX Sports 1 tomorrow, Sunday, August 9, from 3 – 6 p.m. EDT. Live timing and scoring and IMSA Radio’s play-by-play is also available during the race at IMSA.com.

We were really quick in practice this morning, we felt really strong and I was hopeful that we would get a pole here,

Ben Keating

As he did one race ago at Lime Rock Park when he qualified a close second, Keating battled for the pole throughout the action-packed 15-minute Road America qualifying session.

Keating held the pole for a few minutes early on and later jumped from fourth to second with less than 10 seconds left on the clock. His top lap time of 2:09.488 (112.542 mph) was narrowly out-paced by the pole-winning Porsche of Patrick Lindsey.

"We were really quick in practice this morning, we felt really strong and I was hopeful that we would get a pole here,” Keating said. “I went through my first flying lap at 10.2 (2:10.200), which was P1 at the time, and I thought, ‘OK maybe that's going to do it.’ Then Bill Riley came on the radio and said Patrick did a 9.3 (2:09.370). That kind of blew my mind and I just gave it my all. I didn't think I'd be going that fast, but I had the bit in my teeth, I had a lot more motivation.”

Despite being closely edged for the pole in the last two races, the outside front-row qualifying efforts are Keating’s best in the IMSA TUDOR Championship. The strong performance Saturday has both ViperExchange.com drivers optimistic about tomorrow’s Continental Tire Sports Car Showcase.

“We had a good setup from the beginning, the guys came here with a really good basic car and we didn't have to work on it too much,” Bleekemolen said. “Ben did a great job. He was very competitive once again, so I expect him to again be very competitive in the first part of the race.”

If the intensity of today’s qualifying session was any indicator, Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase should be a barn burner.

“Patrick put down a good lap, I can't say anything about it,” Keating said. “I put down a good lap. That's all I got. I can't do that for a race, I can do that for one lap, so I'm hoping that Patrick's the same way and we can consistently be there in the end. So, we'll see."

Race-day Sunday begins with a 20-minute warm-up at 9 a.m. CDT with the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase taking the green flag at 2:05 p.m. CDT.

Riley Motorsport

shares
comments
DeltaWing equals season-high qualifying position at Road America
Previous article

DeltaWing equals season-high qualifying position at Road America

Next article

One-two Prototype finish for Action Express team at Road America

One-two Prototype finish for Action Express team at Road America
Load comments
How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories Prime

How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories

It took Pipo Derani no time at all to establish himself as a winner in IMSA, winning the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours on his first two starts in 2016. But it took until the final corner of the 2021 season before he could become its champion, the culmination of a journey that he believes has made him a better driver.

IMSA
Jan 16, 2022
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021