Keene brings a wealth of racing experience to the team, including seven Daytona Prototype team championships and three consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona victories. He succeeds David Price, who returns to Europe to focus on other business interests.
Keene, an Indianapolis resident, has an impressive 20-year career in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing. Starting as a truck driver and refueler in 1994, Keene went on to become lead mechanic for CGR’s championship-winning drivers Alex Zanardi, Jimmy Vasser and Juan Montoya. Taking over the team’s sports car racing effort in 2004, Keene led the team to 40 victories, seven championships and five Rolex 24 Hour of Daytona wins over 10 years.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge," said Keene. “It’s totally different from what I’m accustomed to, as far as the car goes – and that’s what is really appealing to me. I think the car is very capable of winning. The team has worked very hard on the car’s development and I think they’re really close to becoming a contender, so it’s a good time to come on board and do whatever it takes to get the car and team to that next level. Everyone is very determined and has a really good attitude – and it’s really about the people first. I was pleasantly surprised to get the call from Don, as he’s an icon in American sports car racing. After meeting with him and checking things out, I was sure I was doing the right thing."
“We had an opportunity to bring someone on board as team manager with a great record in sports car racing," said Panoz. “Tim will be replacing Dave Price, with whom we’ve had a long association, since 1997. Dave has long had business interests in Europe that he’s decided need more of his time and attention and we regret that he can’t be with us on a full time basis any longer. But we’re incredibly fortunate that Tim was available as we make this transition. His amazing record speaks for itself. He will be a great asset to our team."