Texan Ben Keating and Black Falcon Mercedes earn podium finish


The first 24-hour endurance race at Circuit of the Americas proved a decisive victory for Porsche over Mercedes.

The Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R team turned 609 laps and 2,071 over two days to win the 24 Hours of COTA by two laps in the season-ending race for the 24K Series. This was the European-based series first-ever event in the United States.

Germany’s Alfred Renauer guided the Porsche across the finish line, partnering with twin brother Robert Renauer, Daniel Allemann (Switzerland) and Ralf Bohn (Germany).

Ben Keating, a Texas A&M alum who operates 17 car dealerships in the state, was part of the second-place team, the No. 3 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3. His co-drivers were Jeroen Bleekemolen (Holland), Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) and Luca Stolz (Germany).

Over the last several hours, the Black Falcon was the fastest car on the track but faced an insurmountable gap to the Herberth machine.

Porsche grabbed two of the three podium spots as the Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3R, with Steve Smith, Randy Walls, Hari Proczyk and Dennis Olsen, finished third, making for an all-German top three in A6-Pro.

Herberth Motorsport also made off with the inaugural Champions of the Continents award, even though its nearest rivals — the PROsport Performance Porsche won the 991 class. The Freem USA Porsche 991 Cup car took the runner-up spot in that class.

The 24H Series will return to Austin on Nov. 15-18, 2018.



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