Bolingbrook, Ill, (April 4, 2017) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) are ready to take on the 100-minutes of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Bubba Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach, April 8.
MacNeil and Jeannette are looking to turn their season around after two DNF's in the opening two rounds of the championship. That will be no easy task on the 1.9-mile, 11-turn Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. With 35 cars on the entry list, the biggest field in IMSA/Grand-Am history to run the concrete lined circuit, the competitors will have to deal with each other, the shortened race all within the confines of the oldest street race in America. MacNeil has two starts at Long Beach, in 2012 (started first, finished second) and 2013 (started first, finished fourth).
"I am looking forward to returning to Long Beach to race this year," MacNeil said. "I have finished on the podium there before and have some good memories from the area. It is a fun and challenging circuit especially with all of the bumps and concrete. I love competing on street courses because of the close and tight racing and the great show we put on for all of the enthusiastic fans. Passing is tough on street courses, so qualifying will be important. Also, it will be a one pit stop race so the driver and tire change are extremely important. Most of the passing could be done on pit lane, so it's important to make sure we perform perfectly."
Like MacNeil, Jeannette has seen success at Long Beach.
"I've raced at Long Beach three times with the ALMS [American Le Mans Series] and have won two out of those three races," Jeannette said. "I really enjoy driving street courses and Long Beach is by far the most historic in the U.S. It's the first time the GTD cars will be racing there, so I think everyone is both excited and a little bit unsure of how they'll fare. We don't get much track time this weekend sharing with IndyCar, so I'm hoping we roll off the trailer in a good spot. It's going to be an exciting race."
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach will be televised Saturday, April 8 starting at 4:00 p.m. ET.