Porsche Carrera Cup driver Dylan O’Keeffe will join BMW Team SRM for the Australian Endurance Championship double header in New Zealand.
O’Keeffe will partner team owner Steven Richards in the team’s M6 GT3 entry for the Laser Plumbing & Electrical Hampton Downs 500 on October 27-29, followed by the Highlands 501 on November 10-12.
The 19-year-old will replace regular co-driver James Bergmuller, who is unable to compete due to business commitments.
This season has seen O’Keeffe impress in Carrera Cup as he sits fifth in the standings heading into this weekend’s season finale at the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.
As a result, Carrera Cup Australia sent the young Australian to Europe to contest the Carrera Cup Shootout last month.
O’Keefe, who runs out of the SRM stable in Carrera Cup, is eagerly anticipating an opportunity to shine in GT3 machinery.
“I’d just got back from doing some driving in Germany, and that day Steve called me and asked me to do a seat fitting for the BMW,” said O’Keeffe.
“I was caught a bit off guard, but I’m really excited. It’s a great way to finish a busy year.
“Richo has been a mentor of mine for the last three years, so it’s pretty cool to actually race alongside him.
“I’ve been watching the BMW M6 GT3 being prepared on the other side of the workshop all year, and I’ve always joked with Richo and asked him when he’s going to give me a drive.
“So it’s incredible to finally put something together and turn it into a reality.”
O’Keeffe has already conducted a test in the car to aid his preparations for the two upcoming races.
“It was a day of learning, figuring out how to adjust my driving technique to work with the car,” he said.
“I felt really comfortable by the end of the test, and I think the pace was good.
“But by the end of the day I felt great, the pace was good, and I think I gave the right feedback.
“We should be in good stead heading to New Zealand. Hopefully we can be in the mix for the podium.”
Richards is confident his new recruit will slot into the role without issue.
“Unfortunately James has got some business commitments that he can’t miss, but fortunately it also means that there is an opportunity for someone like Dylan,” said Richards.
“Based on his results and the fact that he’s effectively part of our set-up as well, it made perfect sense. We tested him in the car and he went really well.
“He raced a different GT car at the Sydney Motorsport Park round and he did a great job.
“It’s not like we’re going into these rounds with an unknown quantity. I was very impressed with the way he handled himself in Sydney.
“He has a vision of driving GT cars and doing long-distance racing, so we’re providing a platform for him to do exactly that.
“It’s also a great was for us to evaluate him for things that we’re doing moving forward.”
VIDEO: O’Keeffe jumps behind the wheel of the BMW Team SRM M6 GT3