- July 22, 1983
- United States
- Not Active
Leh Keen is an American racing driver who achieved the most in the sports car racing, taking two championship titles and one runner-up spot in North American GT competitions, all three when driving Porsche 911s. He was Rolex Sports Car Series GT champion two times, in 2009 and 2011. In 2012, he finished second in the GTC category of the American Le Mans Series.
In the most known American endurance races, Keen was the GTC class winner at 2010 Sebring 12 hours. At 24 hours of Le Mans, Keen reached the podium in 2010, finishing second in the GT2 class with Ferrari F430 GTC.
Lehman McGrath Keen III was born on July 22, 1983, in Dublin, Georgia. He started a racing career in 2004, entering several races of the Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series with Autometrics Motorsports. He was driving the #14 Porsche 996 GT3 Cup together with Cory Friedman, capturing two SGS class podiums.
In 2005, Keen spent a full season with Autometrics Motorsports, continuing to drive a Porsche alongside Cory Friedman. The first win in the GT class came at 6 hours of Watkins Glen, where Wolf Henzler was the third driver together with Keen and Friedman. Keen finished a season fifth in the GT points standings.
For the 2006 Rolex Series season, Keen joined Synergy Racing to drive the #80 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup together with David Murry. After scoring two podiums in 13 races, they were fifth in the final GT classification.
One more change of the team followed in 2007 when Keen moved to Farnbacher Loles Motorsports. He was driving the #85 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup. His full-time partner was Dominik Farnbacher. It was the winless first season in the #85 Porsche, with just two podiums being reached.
In 2008, Keen switched to the #86 Porsche and the first win came at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June. His co-driver was Eric Lux. At the end of the season, Keen was 9th in the GT standings of the Rolex Sports Car Series.
In his third season with Farnbacher Loles, Keen finally reached the top. The lucky number on his Porsche 997 GT Cup was 87. He was sharing a car with Dirk Werner. They won four times - New Jersey, Watkins Glen 6h, Mid-Ohio and Daytona 250 Miles.
At Daytona 24 hours, they finished in 8th place. Other two drivers of the #87 Porsche were Wolf Henzler and Richard Westbrook.
After six seasons with Porsche cars in the Rolex Sports Car Series, Keen changed a manufacturer in 2010. He joined Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle to drive the #41 Mazda RX-8. His full-time co-driver was James Gue. They recorded one win, in the tenth round at Watkins Glen, to finish fifth in the final GT classification.
While racing full-season with Mazda in the Rolex Sports Car Series, Keen gained some notable results in other competitions.
In March 2010, Keen joined Alex Job Racing to drive their Porsche at 12 hours of Sebring, which was a part of the American Le Mans Series. Together with Butch Leitzinger and Juan Gonzalez, Keen was the winner of GTC class.
In June 2010, Keen debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, driving the #89 Ferrari F430 GTC for Hankook Team Farnbacher alongside Dominik Farnbacher and Allan Simonsen. They finished 12th overall and second in the GT2 class. With the same car, the team participated at 24h of Nürburgring, taking a victory in the SP7 class.
For the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season, Keen returned to a cockpit of Porsche, joining Brumos Racing to drive the #59 Porsche 911 GT3 with co-driver Andrew Davis. Their first win came at 6 hours of Watkins Glen. With one more victory at Laguna Seca, they secured GT class championship title.
During 2011, Keen also participated in five American Le Mans Series races with Alex Job Racing, scoring three podiums in the GTC class. At 2011 24 hours of Le Mans, Keen rejoined Farnbacher and Simonsen in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 but they failed to finish the race.
In 2012, Keen had a double program again, driving for Brumos Racing in the Rolex Sports Car Series and for Alex Job Racing in the American Le Mans Series. He and Andrew Davis were fifth in the Rolex Series GT standings, not scoring wins in the #59 Porsche.
In the American Le Mans Series, Keen was much more successful in the #22 Porsche, winning two races (Lime Rock and Virginia) together with Cooper MacNeil. His co-driver became the ALMS GTC champion, Keen was second in the points.
One more season with a double program followed in 2013, when Keen was combining Porsche and Ferrari. The highlight of the season was a victory in the Grand-Am race at Kansas with Scuderia Corsa's Ferrari, together with Alessandro Balzan. Alex Job Racing also switched to Ferrari in the ALMS but without notable results.
In 2014, the IMSA United Sports Car Championship was formed. Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil were sharing the #22 Porsche 991 GT of Alex Job Racing, finishing third in the final standings of GTD class. Keen spent two more seasons with AJR Porsche in the IMSA Championship, finishing 7th in 2015 and 13th in 2016.
In June 2016, Keen returned to Le Mans, sharing the #89 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR with Marc Miller. They retired after 50 laps.
Keen was released by Alex Job Racing in the mid-season 2016, after seven races in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He was replaced by Porsche Junior driver Sven Muller.
For the 2017 season, Keen was without a ride in the IMSA Championship, not returning to the competition in the following years.
Photos: Leh Keen FB, flatsixes.com, motorsport.com,
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