Ben Keating Pilots Dodge Viper ACR to Sebring Production Lap Record

Behind the wheel of the street-legal Dodge Viper ACR, Ben Keating recently broke the production lap record at Sebring International Raceway with a time of 2:19.473.
Posted on Jul 06, 2011


Behind the wheel of the street-legal Dodge Viper ACR, Ben Keating recently broke the production lap record at Sebring International Raceway with a time of 2:19.473.

A top competitor in the spec-series Viper Cup, Ben is also well known for his several auto dealerships in Southern Texas and his sales website dedicated to the high-power sports car.

Immersed in the world of automobiles since he was a young, Keating didn’t form a passion for racing until just a few years ago. After logging some seat time in a 2002 GTS, he was instantly hooked.

In 2005 Ben attended a driver education day at Texas World Speedway – his first on-track experience with the V-10 supercar. “It was the most fun I’ve had in my life,” said Ben of the experience.

Just eight months later Ben competed for the first time. The Viper Days track event served as an early lesson that he’d need a track-prepared car to become more competitive. Up for sale by a fellow racer at the event, Ben quickly procured the track-prepared GTS.

In 2007, he won the GT1 class, securing seven of eight season wins. Mastering the class, he bought a Competition Coupe and moved up to the GTMC class for the 2008 season. Although consistently at battle with Jim Stout, Keating won the class for three years straight.

Again, ready to move up the ranks of road racing, Keating was delighted by the news of the spec-series Dodge Viper Cup. Finishing the first season in a strong second place, Keating has no intentions on being a runner up for 2011. With a commanding lead through the first four races, he’s well on his way to a championship season.

Rounds one and two of the 2011 Viper Cup season kicked off at Sebring International Raceway in May. Not only was Keating in attendance, but also was the street-legal Viper ACR. The aggressive combination made for a perfect storm of speed.

Cameras rolling, Ben hopped behind the wheel of a bone-stock ACR determined to set a new record. Armed with the muscular supercar, Keating circled the 3.7-mile course in 2:19.473 setting the bar extremely high. And with that we congratulate him.

It’s not all fun and games for Ben, as his numerous dealerships provide plenty to keep him busy throughout the week. Since the opening of his first Dodge showroom, he has worked diligently to become one of the most recognized Viper dealers in the world. Now with four Dodge dealerships he has amassed an impressive inventory of new Vipers. Physically spread across his four dealerships, they all reside in a single location virtually at ViperExchange.com.

The ViperExchange amassed an extraordinary inventory over the course of the last few years. News of Chrysler possibly selling off the Viper platform in 2009 sparked Ben to order some 100 new Vipers for fear of the supercar’s future. Thankfully Dodge retained the platform, but it did announce the end of the current-generation model for the 2010 model year. With the news, Keating placed another massive order totaling 54 units. Although a good deal of the supply are now in the possession of private owners, Ben asserts his inventory is larger that anyone else’s, with dozens of new Vipers remaining in stock. With his enormous inventory and successful website, Ben aims to proclaim the title as the number one Viper dealer by year’s end and going forward. ViperExchange has helped Ben reach buyers across the United States.

Aside from continuing to sell and collect future iterations of the V-10 supercar, “I look forward to racing Vipers for a long time,” said Keating.

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