Phil Keen is a British racing driver who's on the top of the British sports car racing in recent years, finishing second in the British GT Championship for two years in a row (2016, 2017), driving a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Barwell Motorsport. Earlier in a career, he was a British GT champion in the Supersport class, driving a KTM X-Bow.
Early switch to sports car racing
Born in October 1983, Keen spent teenage years in karting competitions, switching to bigger cars in 2002. He contested in the Formula Renault 2.0 UK but spent only one season in single-seater racing, moving to TVR Tuscan Challenge in 2003. He finished third in that one-make competition, moving into GT racing next year.
In November 2004, he participated in the Bahrain GT Festival with Tech 9 team, driving a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup. In 2005, Keen joined Eclipse Motorsport to driver Mosler MT900 R in selected races of the FIA GT and British GT Championship. Together with Steve Hyde, he won one race at Brands Hatch.
Partner to European GT3 champion Sean Edwards
In 2006, Keen stayed with Eclipse Motorsport in the British GT Championship, eventually moving to Trackspeed to drive Porsche 996 GT3 Cup.
He was also driving a new Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for Tech 9 Motorsport in the European GT3 Championship. His co-driver was Sean Edwards, who captured European GT3 title that year. Keen didn't participate in all races and finished fourth in the points. He and Edwards have won three races together.
Five different cars in 2007
In 2007, Keen continued to drive Porsche for Tech 9 Motorsport in the FIA GT3 European Championship, sharing a car with Jonathan Lang. In the season-closing round at Dubai Autodrome, he was driving an Ascari KZ1R GT3 for Damax team. Earlier that year, he was driving that car in two rounds of the British GT Championship. He also tried Apex Motorsport's Jaguar XKR GT3 in one British GT round.
Besides all those GT3 cars, Keen also recorded a one-off participation in the Le Mans Series with Pescarolo-Judd LMP1 prototype, driving for Rollcentre Racing at Monza 1000 km. He, Stuart Hall and Joao Barbosa finished in the seventh place.
2009 British GT Supersport champion
In 2008, Keen continued to combine different cars, mostly driving BMWs for Chad Peninsula Racing in the Belcar series. In 2009, he participated in three rounds of the British GT Championship with ABG Motorsport's KTM X-Bow, collecting enough points to take Supersport class title together with his co-driver Marcus Clutton.
Keen continued with a diverse programme in 2010, driving Porsche for Trackspeed or Mosler for Moore Racing and Eclipse Motorsport.
Silverstone 24 Hours winner in 2011
In 2011, Keen joined Neil Garner Motorsport to drive an Oreca FLM09 prototype in the Le Mans Series. In the same year, he was competing with Trackspeed's Porsche in some races of the British GT Championship.
The highlight of the season was a victory in the Britcar 24 hours of Silverstone. Keen was driving the #2 Ferrari F430 GTC for Michael McInerney, together with car owner and his son Sean McInerney.
One class victory in the 2012 European Le Mans Series
In 2012, Keen mostly competed in the British GT Championship, driving a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for Trackspeed or Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for Complete Racing. He also participated at Spa 24 Hours in an Audi R8 LMS. He was driving one more car, a Mosler MT900 R, in the Britcar race at Snetterton.
In 2012, Keen also had a one-off appearance in the European Le Mans Series, winning the LMPC class in an Oreca FLM09 at Circuit Paul Ricard. His co-drivers were Alex Kapadia and John Hartshorne.
Partnership with Jon Minshaw was born in 2013
After many years of various competitions, Keen participated in only one championship in 2013, spending a full season in the British GT Championship with Trackspeed. He was sharing the #33 Porsche 997 GT3 R with Jon Minshaw, beginning a partnership which is still alive.
They won the season-opening race at Oulton Park and it remained their only win in 2013. Scoring one more podium, at Zandvoort, they finished 14th in the points of the GT3 class.
Three wins and fourth place in the 2014 British GT Championship
In 2014, Keen and Minshaw changed a number on their Porsche from 33 to 63, immediately winning a race in a 'new' car. They were winners at Snetterton and after that two more times, at Spa and Donington Park, finishing fourth in the final GT3 standings. They had most wins of all crews but few bad results ruined their overall performance.
Outside British GT, Keen participated in one round of the International GT Open, driving a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in Barcelona as a co-driver to Shaun Balfe.
Keen and Minshaw joined Barwell in 2015
For the 2015 British GT Championship season, Keen and Minshaw joined Barwell Motorsport to drive the #63 BMW Z4 GT3 for Team Russia by Barwell with Demon Tweeks. Without wins and scoring two podiums (Spa, Donington Park), they finished sixth in the points.
It was a very busy year for Phil Keen, as he participated in six more competitions during a season – IMSA Sports Car Championship, European Le Mans Series, International GT Open, Radical European Masters, Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship.
Daytona 24h debut in a Chevrolet Corvette DP
In January 2015, Keen made a debut at Daytona 24 Hours, driving the #31 Chevrolet Corvette DP for Action Express Racing. His co-drivers were Max Papis, Eric Curran and Dane Cameron. They finished in the sixth place.
In the European Le Mans Series, Keen participated in four races with Gulf Racing UK, scoring one GTE class victory at Silverstone in a Porsche 911 RSR. In the International GT Open, he spent a full season with Shaun Balfe in his Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. In July 2015, Barwell's BMW finished 8th at Spa 24 Hours, driven by Keen, Jon Minshaw, Leo Machitski and Jonny Cocker.
Switching to Lamborghini Huracan in 2016
In 2016, Keen and Minshaw returned to #33 car in the British GT Championship, replacing BMW with Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Their first win came in the fifth round at Silverstone and then two more wins at Snetterton. They were fighting for the title until the last race, but retirement in season's finale at Donington Park ruined everything, so they lost a title to Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston.
In 2016, Keen also spent a season in the International GT Open with Shaun Balfe, driving the #22 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and McLaren 650S GT3 for Balfe Motorsport. He won one race, finishing fifth in the final standings of the Pro-Am class.
Championship runner-up again in 2017
In 2017 British GT season, their fifth year together, Keen and Jon Minshaw were the race winners four times in the #33 Lamborghini. They triumphed two times at Oulton Park, once at Snetterton and once at Spa. Unfortunately, the other results were not good enough to take the title, so they finished as the runner-ups again, losing a title to Rick Parfitt Jr and Seb Morris.
Of other competitions in 2017, Keen participated in the Le Mans Cup and International GT Open with Lee Mowle's Mercedes-AMG GT3. At Spa 24 Hours, he was driving Barwell's Lamborghini, sharing a car with Leo Machitski, Miguel Ramos and Richard Abra.