Connect with us

24H Le Mans

Ricky Taylor Completes Keating Riley LMP2 Lineup for 24H Le Mans

Ricky Taylor signs with Keating Motorsports for Le Mans LMP2 effort…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Newly crowned Rolex 24 at Daytona winner Ricky Taylor will have the chance to go for the 24-hour double this year, with Taylor confirmed as the final driver in Keating Motorsports’ LMP2 lineup for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Sportscar365 has learned that the 27-year-old prototype star will join Jeroen Bleekemolen and team owner/driver Ben Keating in his Riley Mk. 30 Gibson in the French endurance classic.

It will mark Taylor’s second LMP2 start at Le Mans following his run with Larbre Competition in 2014, and fourth outright after taking part in last year’s race in the factory Corvette squad in GTE-Pro.

“I’ve raced on the same track as Ben Keating for many years and he always does a great job,” Taylor said. “He’s one of the fastest gentlemen out there.

“To get an opportunity to go to Le Mans with a Riley and such a great organization is a really cool opportunity.

“The fact that we’re going to be the only one is exciting, to be something different than everyone else. It’s a lot of Orecas and a Dallara mixed in there.

“It’s just fun to get to taste something else and get an opportunity with a new team that I know will have reliability and we can have a good run. It’s a good driver lineup so I think we will be strong.”

Taylor, along with brother Jordan, Max Angelelli and Jeff Gordon claimed top honors in January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener, kicking off the new era of IMSA prototypes.

He’ll trade his Cadillac DPi.V-R for the global-spec Riley-Multimatic LMP2 car, which finished third in the hands of Visit Florida Racing at Daytona.

Taylor, who received permission from GM for the one-off race with Keating, said he’s excited for the opportunity to sample and provide feedback on another new-for-2017 prototype.

“I hope I can bring some experience from over here,” he said. “Obviously they have more P2 experience at Le Mans than I do running there the last couple of years, but these new P2 cars, it’s such a big jump from other years.

“I think it should be a good experience. I’m sure they’ll get up to speed quickly; Jeroen is awesome, so obviously he’ll have no problem. And Ben seems to make the most out of all of his opportunities as well.”

For Keating, who is set for his third consecutive Le Mans appearance and second in LMP2, the Texan said Taylor’s past prototype experience, and recent success factored into his decision.

“I like Ricky,” Keating told Sportscar365. “Ricky was pretty quick at Daytona. They put him in to close the deal and he was pretty quick here at the test again.

“He’s an nice guy, which is one of the most important things from my standpoint. It’s a good working relationship.

“He’s been [at Le Mans] before, and I think he’s obviously very comfortable in a P2 car. He’s very comfortable at Le Mans. And I’m comfortable with him, which is really important.”

Keating said his Riley-Gibson chassis is currently in build, with testing set to begin next month.

All three drivers had a seat fitting in a Riley tub on Thursday at Sebring, in preparation for a multi-day test at Road Atlanta.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Dan

    March 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Well, good for Ricky. Who’s doing the long distance drive at LM with Corvette? I assume since GM blessed Taylor running LMP2 they have the Corvettes covered with Fassler and Rocky at LM?

    • 996corsa

      March 17, 2017 at 1:24 am

      I seem to remember reading somewhere it’s likely going to be Jordan Taylor and Fassler in the ‘Vette’s. Rockenfeller’s DTM commitments conflict with LeMans, apparently.

  2. Jake

    March 16, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I guess that means that the Larbre entry will be a no show, as he was the only driver listed in the 50 at the announcement of the entries.

  3. Brian

    March 17, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Congratulations Ricky another recognition of your talents

  4. Brian

    March 17, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Congratulations Ricky , another recognition of your talent,

    Brian

  5. dirk

    March 17, 2017 at 5:53 am

    I wish Jeroen, Ben and Ricky Taylor all the best, but I believe the choice for R.Taylor was made ao on a financial basis, leaving long time Riley development driver Marc Goossens on the side line sounds very strange, to say the least, anyhow, no hard feelings, and by the way, he shouldn’t try the trick he pulled in Daytona at the end of the race in Le Mans, he’ll be sanctioned, …

  6. John R Martin

    March 19, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I guess this means that the Dpi’S are a no no at Le Mans, after all the WEC dose not want there SPEC Lmp2 and the Lmp1 non hybrids being shown off.

    • racefan101

      March 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      Well I don’t know about that. P2,s maybe but I wouldn’t bet on it. P1, I don’t think so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in 24H Le Mans