TAVARES, Fla. (June 28, 2016) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Ut.) are ready for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen to run at Watkins Glen International Raceway, July 1-3.
MacNeil, Keen and Jeannette are looking forward to running the newly paved 3.4-mile, 11-turn, Watkins Glen International circuit this weekend. The duo are sixth in the GTD point standings and are ready to put together a couple of weekends, with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park next week, of strong finishes to move up the score sheet. First, with the help of Jeannette, the team will look for the season's first podium finish this Sunday.
"I'm really excited to get our Porsche GT3R on the fresh pavement at Watkins Glen," MacNeil said. "I've heard they did a really nice job with the repaving, which should suit our Porsche quite well. Last year we had pouring rain for the race, so I'm hoping it will be dry and we can really get up to speed quickly. Six hours is a long time, but it will still be at sprint race pace the whole time, which should be exciting for the fans. The area around the race track is quite scenic, so I always enjoy getting back to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York."
Keen has three wins in the six hour race.
"The Glen is actually the track where I've had the most success," Keen said. "I have won the six hour race three times. I absolutely love the track. We were on pole there a couple of years ago. I knew the track very well with the old pavement. There was a lot of tricks I used for the transitions from asphalt to concrete along with the bumps. Well, all that is thrown out the window now with the repave. But it's still the same corners and still the same track. I'm actually really excited to drive it because I know it will be even faster now with more grip and smoother. Our WeatherTech Porsche will be great there and we have Gunnar coming in to help us out. I think we will be very strong and looking for the win for sure. My favorite section used to be the Bus Stop and probably still will be. Although the last two corners will be much faster now, so I can't wait to fly through them."
Jeannette has driven on the new surface and has fond memories of The Glen.
"I drove the new surface a few months ago, but the weather was mixed and cold, so it was tough to get a real performance read," Jeannette said. "The surface for the most part is very smooth and the grip level is really high. Track records will fall and the racing should be very good. I have always loved Watkins Glen and now they've made one of the best circuits in the country even better.
Getting on the podium will take zero errors. As we've seen so far this year the competition level of the GTD class is very high and almost any car entered can potentially be on the podium. We need to be smart and have a fast race car. This year we've been close a few times, hopefully it all comes together for us this weekend. A cool story, back in 2003 I was racing in our GTS Porsche GT-1 with Kyle Petty and Paul Newman. We weren't as quick as some of the other cars in the class at that time, but we managed to get a podium, finishing in second or third place. That ended up being Paul's last professional racing podium. I will never forget the few opportunities I had to co-drive with him and to share a podium with him is something very special."
"I know that Leh and Cooper are hungry for a result," Alex Job, team owner said. "We were very strong at Daytona and showed good speed at Sebring, so it is time to get back up on the podium. Gunnar will be a welcome addition and brings a lot of miles around The Glen."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 starting at 10 a.m. ET and going to 4:30 p.m. Qualifying can be viewed on IMSA.tv.