Shifts Focus to Race Strategy after Northeast Grand Prix Qualifying Friday
Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and No. 33 Gas Monkey Garage Dodge Viper GT3-R Team Hoping to stay in Championship Chase
LAKEVILLE, Connecticut (July 22, 2016)   Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and the Riley Motorsports-run No.  Gas Monkey Garage Dodge Viper GT3-R team quickly shifted to race strategy and planning Friday at Lime Rock Park after a disappointing qualifying session for the Northeast Grand Prix.
Round 7 of the 11-race GTD championship, the Northeast Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX tomorrow, Saturday, July 23, at 3 p.m. EDT.
Keating executed several text-book qualifying laps in the No. 33 Viper that ultimately had only enough pace to qualify 13th in the 14-car IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) field.
“I would say that our car is well balanced, I had a great lap and I think I got as much out of it as I can get out of it,” Keating said. “Unfortunately, that put us 13th out of a field of 14 cars.”
Although not always the fastest car in the GTD field, has stayed in the running at every race this season due to outstanding driving and top preparation, execution and race strategy by Riley Motorsports.
“Quite frankly, the Riley team is the only thing that keeps me here,” Keating said. “I’m doing this for fun, and having the slowest car out there is not any fun, but the fact that the team has had unbelievable pit stops and strategy for the last two races in a row is the only thing that makes me want to see how this plays out.”
After a Riley pit stop that proved to be a race-winning one at Detroit last month, more great strategy and pit work had up to second in the late stages of the following and most recent races at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“We are going to try hard again,” Bleekemolen said. “We’ve had two races behind us where we were able to fight our way up to the front with strategy, but to keep these guys behind me was not an easy fight. We’ll try it again.
“Lime Rock is not an easy place to overtake so hopefully we’ll make some pit stops, call some strategy and we will get another chance to see how good we can stay at it.” needs a solid result in tomorrow’s race to hang on to its 2016 GTD points championship aspirations
Keating, Bleekemolen and the No. 33 currently rank fourth in both the GTD driver and team championships with 155 points, just eight points out of third and 14 points behind of the second-place team and drivers.
Race-day Saturday starts with a 20-minute warm-up at 9:05 a.m. with the featured Northeast Grand Prix scheduled to begin at 3:05 p.m.
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About Gas Monkey Garage: In 2002, Richard Rawlings launched Gas Monkey Garage. The Garage created and transported automobiles for customers worldwide. In September 2013, Rawlings started Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill in Northwest Dallas with a second location at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport opened in March 2014. In October 2014, Gas Monkey Live, a venue dedicated predominantly to live music, was opened. In 2016, Gas Monkey Garage will partner in three motorsports efforts with the Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Gas Monkey Garage Special in the 100th Indy 500 and the Laughlin Motorsports Pro Stock in the NHRA Mello Yello Series.