Gentleman racer Ben Keating rates as a Bronze in the FIA driver ratings system.
PHOTO BY MOTORSPORT IMAGES-LAT
You might be surprised where your favorite driver falls
BY: STEVEN COLE SMITH
The FIA-generated driver ratings take a lot of factor into consideration, including age, experience and on-track performance. These ratings are used by different series, including the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship, to set-up teams in Pro-Am class.
To see the complete list that includes some 3,750 drivers, go to https://www.fia.com/fia-driver-categorisation.
Here’s how it all breaks down, with IMSA president Scott Atherton weighing in:
Who’s Platinum? The cream of the crop, like Fernando Alonso—though he has only driven in a few WEC and IMSA sports car races, he holds an F1 Super License and is considered to be “a driver whose performances and achievements” merit Platinum status.
IMSA president Scott Atherton: Platinum is the ranking of the “true professional driver who most likely races for a factory—an official driver for Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, etc.”
Who’s Gold? A successful professional driver like Ricky Taylor, who drove for his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing Konica-Minolta Cadillac IMSA prototype team before moving in 2018 to the Acura Team Penske prototype, where he partnered with Platinum driver Hélio Castroneves. Ricky’s brother, Jordan, who still drives for the family Cadillac team, is rated Platinum. Go figure.
Atherton: Gold means “a professional driver, someone who makes their living driving a race car.”
Who’s Silver? Danish driver David Heinemeier Hansson raced in 2018 for the Team 3GT, co-driving a Lexus RC F GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech GT Daytona class. He has a first, second and third in class in seven appearances at Le Mans. He is also a computer programmer who is, says one online source, worth $40 million.
Atherton: Silvers are “much more accomplished” than Bronze-rated drivers, “and who may be career-minded but are still working on their craft and not quite at the level of a pro.”
Who’s Bronze? Texas car dealer Ben Keating, 47, only began racing in 2006 but has raced Dodge Vipers and now races a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech GT Daytona class. Keating has class wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and a podium in four trips to Le Mans.
Atherton: The average Bronze driver is “entry-level, a pure gentleman racer, no threat to anyone.”