DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah), Shane van Gisbergen (New Zealand), and Thomas Jaeger (Germany) will start from the 12th row in the GTD class for the 55th running of the IMSA WeatherTech Rolex 24 At Daytona Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway.
Piloting the brand new No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3, it took MacNeil seven laps around the 3.56-mile modified oval road course to set the team’s fastest lap time with a 1:49.809. A balance of performance change (B.O.P.) since the Roar Before the 24 test three weeks has handicapped the team’s top speed on the Daytona high-banks.
“With the latest B.O.P. change from IMSA, we lost a good seven to eight miles an hour to the top cars,” MacNeil said. “This is killing us on the straights. I can literally feel on the straightaways how much slower we’re going now compared to a few weeks ago. I can physically feel the difference, which tells me it’s not a little. It’s a lot. This place is all about top speed. Right now, we’re struggling a bit. The good news is the car is pretty quick in the infield. It was a little loose for me during qualifying so I was dealing with some oversteer issues the whole time. I’m really focusing on driving smoothly and not kick the rear out. Even that was very difficult.”
The 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona gets underway at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Jan. 28, with pre-race coverage on FOX starting at 2 p.m. (ET). FOX will carrying the first two and a half hours of the race before switching over to FOX Sports 2 from 5 to 10 p.m. (ET) and then again from 11 p.m. (ET) to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Race coverage will continue on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. through the end of the race.
For more information on WeatherTech Racing, including race recaps, photos and team gear, please visit the newly designed team site at www.WeatherTechRacing.com.