LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 23, 2016) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) drove to a ninth place finish in GTD in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
MacNeil started the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche from the sixth row in GTD. As he progressed through his 90-minutes behind the wheel he was able to move into the GTD lead through strategy and the cycling of pit stops by the 14 car GTD field. Thirty-five minutes into the race the University of Colorado at Boulder senior was in the lead. As his stint progressed the fresh tires of the competitors began to payoff. Handing over to Keen at near 90 minutes into the race the cars handling had went away to a severe push condition. Keen brought the black and white Porsche home in ninth.
“We have a strange trend going,” Keen said. “We have a car that turns well in practice and then the race comes along and we pick up massive push in the car. When we run in traffic we have aero push and then the chassis has push as well. We’ve experienced this the last couple of races. It makes it tough to race. Our lap times in practice were good and competitive. In the warm-up Cooper went quick and we felt good about the car. With the heat and the track conditions changing the front-end just goes away from us. You can’t do much if you can’t turn. We will work on it and get it figured out for Road America.”
“I spent a lot of time in the car,” MacNeil said. “Our engineer Greg Fordahl kept me out and I was able to lead some laps. The guys with new tires ate me up pretty quick. We picked up a push in the car which really affected our lap times. We just couldn’t get the car to turn. You are a sitting duck for the cars behind at that point. We need to work on it and get ready for our home race at Road America.”
“In practice and in the morning warm-up we had a very competitive car,” team owner, Alex Job said. “I think the heat in the track really affected the set-up of the Porsche over the long run. Cooper did a nice long stint and then Leh just couldn’t make-up ground with the way the car was handling.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will head to Road America for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase to run August 5-7.