WeatherTech Racing Third in PWC SprintX at Laguna
MacNeil and Jeannette on podium
MONTEREY, Calif., (October 8, 2016) – Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette finished today’s Pirelli World Challenge Series (PWC) SprintX race in third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
MacNeil had the controls of the shared No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche for the start of the 60-minute race. As the 25-car field came to the green flag, MacNeil timed the flag perfectly and led the race going into Turn 1 from his outside front row starting position. On lap seven, the University of Colorado at Boulder senior began negotiating the GTS lap traffic and built an eight second lead. At the 24-minute mark, just prior to the mandatory pit stop and driver change, a red flag stopped the race. The race restarted and MacNeil followed the Pace Car down pit lane to hand over the white and black Porsche to Jeannette. Jeanette waited patiently for the 90-second mandatory pit time to elapse and rejoined the race in the lead. Thirteen minutes into his stint, Jeannette was passed by the No. 80 Viper and then was relegated to third by the No. 19 Audi.
“It is disappointing to have a great run and then have a red flag alter our race,” MacNeil said. “It is always good to finish on the podium. I had about a nine-second lead when the red came out. Maybe it would have given Gunnar just enough cushion to stay ahead of those guys to the end. It is nice to be on the podium. Little tough, we had a great start and would have been nice to be a few more steps up the podium.”
“Cooper did an awesome job in the beginning,” Jeannette said. “We thought we were going to be clever with the pit strategy and everyone followed us in. We went out nose to tail, the Viper got by me in traffic. I don’t think anyone had anything for the Audi today. So, happy with third.”
“Cooper was able to get a great start and drive around the No. 19 Audi,” Alex Job, team owner, said. “It is too bad that the red flag came out just as we were going to pit. It eliminated Cooper’s near 10-second gap he built up. We decided to come in immediately when the race restarted with Gunnar returning the lead. He ran fast to hold them off, but a podium finish in our first SprintX is a good result.”
The Pirelli World Challenge series finale will run on Sunday, October 9 at 11 a.m. ET. The race from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised on the CBS Sports Network Sunday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET.