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Keating Trio Turn First Laps in Ford GT

Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga turn first laps in Ford GT in preparation for 24H Le Mans…

Photo: Jeroen Bleekemolen Twitter

Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga got their first experience of the Ford GT they’ll race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this week, having completed a successful single-day test at Sebring in preparation for the French endurance classic.

All three Keating Motorsports drivers, along with engineers and crew from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, were on hand at Tuesday’s running, which was run alongside FCGR’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship cars that were turning laps ahead of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Keating, Bleekemolen and Fraga all got seat time in Ford Performance’s simulator in Concord N.C. prior to the single-day test, which according to Bill Riley, helped with the acclamation process to the mid-engined supercar.

“It ran flawless; we didn’t have any issues,” Riley told Sportscar365. “All we did was put tires, fuel and drivers through it and they all got very comfortable with the car right off the bat.

“The setup was very close. It really couldn’t have gone any better.”

Riley gave praise to the FCGR crew, which will be working alongside staff from Riley Motorsports and other organizations for the first-ever customer Ford entry in GTE-Am.

“The Ganassi engineers are working with us hand-in-hand, along with the mechanics,” he said. “We knew we’d work well with them [based on] past projects but it went very smooth.”

Riley indicated the drivers are unlikely to get any additional seat time in the car prior to the Le Mans Test Day.

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

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