Dylan will make his Supercars Bathurst 1000 debut next week with André Heimgartner and the NED Racing team.
His introduction to motorsport came about when his Dad competed in Speedway. So for Dylan there was an interest in motorsport within the family from a young age. Hanging out at racing events was just a normal part of life for the young O’Keeffe.
“I competed in go-karts at the Oakleigh circuit and my first car races were in the Victorian Porsche 944 Challenge. It wasn’t really a conventional pathway, but it was a really good development category – the cars weren’t too expensive and they weren’t particularly powerful, but they had really good handling and taught me how to maximise corner speed.”
Back in 2015 he stepped up into the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge with the help of family friend Tony Bates who loaned him a Porsche Carrera Cup car to test out.
“When I was competing in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and starting to get good results in a national category, at that point I thought maybe I could make it work as a professional career. From there, things started to take off.”
He’s raced a few different cars since his GT3 Cup Challenge debut and had this to say about how that experience would assist him at the Bathurst 1000 event.
“I think it will help greatly, because not all my experience has been just locked into one car and I’ve had to adapt to different situations and different driving techniques. I think that experience will help me make a smooth transition into the Kelly Racing Mustang.”
Dylan O’Keeffe is no stranger to the famed mountain circuit previously picking up a class win in the Bathurst 12 hour and finishing second in the Porsche Carrera Cup race there in 2018.
“I started fifth on the grid and finished second but the competition at the front of the field was unbelievably intense – everyone was pushing to the absolute limit and we were breaking lap records every lap. They were the best laps I’ve ever driven around the Mountain.”
On joining the Kelly Racing / NED Racing team he might want to keep the reminders about just how young he is at bay with memories of cheering on Todd and Rick from the stands at Sandown as a youngster on his mind.
As for his teammate?
“Andre and I know each other well and we sometimes hang out away from the track. We have the same personal trainer so we’ve trained together a few times as well.
“We’ve had a few good battles in Carrera Cup and TCR; Andre is a very talented driver, so I’m looking forward to learning from his experience and working with him to get the most out of the NED Racing Whisky Mustang.”