AUSTIN, Texas (May 6, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) finished sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown at the Circuit of The Americas.
Starting 12th in class, MacNeil had the controls of the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 when the green flag dropped on the two hour and 40-minute race. But, it didn’t take long before MacNeil had to take evasive action to avoid becoming part of a multi-car car wreck heading into Turn One at the race start.
As a result, MacNeil was able to take advantage of this incident and quickly picked up two spots, and shortly thereafter, he picked up a third before handing the Mercedes off to Jeannette on lap 20 in ninth place.
“The start was pretty crazy,” MacNeil said. “I came around Turn One without any information from the crew that anything was going on. I came through and there were a bunch of cars and parts everywhere. Luckily, I was on the outside and it was a good line. It was kind of one of those things – right place, right time. From there, I was able to pick up a couple of positions. I made some good passes on a couple of other cars. The car was decent.”
Once behind the wheel, Jeannette did not waste any time going on the offensive. In fact, he spent several laps putting constant pressure on the No. 86 Acura for seventh place before passing that car in Turn 15 and taking that spot.
With 12 minutes remaining, Jeannette chased down and passed the No. 28 Porsche for sixth place. From there, he set his sights on the No. 96 BMW for a spot in the top five. But, he simply ran out of time and finished sixth.
“The car was decent,” Jeannette said. “We were just behind all week, for whatever reason. We really struggled the whole first day. The second day, we had a mechanical issue. We didn’t know what we really had going into the race. But, the guys did a great job all weekend.
“In the race, we just didn’t have the pace in the first half of the stint on newer tires. But, as everybody else fell off, we stayed about the same. So, in the second half of the stint onward, we were really strong. But, just not strong enough over the whole race. I think we should have finished better. We got jumped in the pits by a couple of cars. I’m not really sure how that happened. So, I got to figure that out. All in all, considering how we started the weekend, to move up from 12th to sixth it’s a decent day.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship travels to Motown June 2-3 for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
For more information on WeatherTech Racing, including race recaps, photos and team gear, please visit the newly designed team site at www.WeatherTechRacing.com.