Ben Keating was not able to qualify the #57 Team Project 1 Porsche after his car suffered an engine failure in the final free practice session.
The trio of Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga was supposed to be making their WEC qualifying debut this morning, but weren’t able to run as their Porsche’s was too damaged from a flywheel failure.
“Right at the very end of practice this morning, free practice number three, we had a really unusual failure. I’ve never seen anything like it. They scrambled to do an engine swap,” Keating told Motorsport Week.
“Our flywheel split. Never heard of anything like it. It’s probably the strongest part in the whole engine and if you’re gonna have a failure like that, normally the clutch would go. So really strange failure, but there wasn’t time to get one engine out and the other one in.
So we didn’t get the chance to qualify at all. So we were really disappointed, because obviously, we were working towards that, and I was eager to see what we could do when we had the car set up.”
As a result of the failure, Keating will now be starting tomorrow’s 4 Hours of Silverstone from the back of the grid, but the IMSA veteran explained he doesn’t feel too concerned about the fact.
“So we’ll start from the back of the grid. It’s okay. It’ll just be more fun,” Keating continued.
“I think it’s easier to stay out of trouble from the back of the grid. And if I look at the start of the race last year, there was mayhem. And so I can’t expect much different. So my expectation is to hang out, let everybody sort their s*** out and then go pick them off one by one.”