Le Mans, France (June 17, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Bill Sweedler (Westport, Ct.) and Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) are running fifth in GTE-Am six hours into the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de le Sarthe.
Bell had the controls of the No. 62 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GTE-Am for the start. Twelve laps into the race he made the team’s first pit stop from the lead in the class. Bell maintained the lead into the first hour of the race. At the two hour mark he pitted and turned the controls over to Sweedler from the lead in the GTE-Am Class. Sweedler put in a fast double stint and turned the car over to MacNeil three-and-a-half hours into the race. MacNeil did double time as well as night begins to fall in France with the WeatherTech Racing Ferrari running in fifth.
“I was pretty conservative on the first lap, a Porsche went bombing up the inside of me,” Bell said. “I let him go. It took five or ten laps and I reeled him back in for third. The pole-sitting Corvette is fast. The boys did a great job on the pit stop and we took over the lead. Then there was the long slow zone and we got held up by a couple of cars breaking for the slow zone. We maintained the lead. I am really happy with the way the WeatherTech Ferrari is handling. I feel like I got a pretty good handle on what the balance does over a double stint on tires and a full fuel load.”
“The WeatherTech Racing Ferrari is running great,” Sweedler said. “We have to stay clean for the first 18 hours. We are just focused on running strong and clean and staying on the lead lap. I did a double, Townsend put in two and Cooper did a double. I am going back in for two more and then I am getting some sleep.”
“My double stint was good,” MacNeil said. “We are being careful with the track limits, so we don’t get a penalty. If you push the car too far off the track, you will get penalized. I was taking care of the car and staying out of trouble. The LMP2 cars really cut it close in passing at the apex. So far so good, we are running strong.”
The WeatherTech Racing Ferrari will return to the track tomorrow at 6 CET for the second official practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to run June 17-18. The race is airing on Fox Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 (all times ET): FS1: 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., FS2: 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., (June 18) FS1: 1:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (June 18).
2017 Le Mans 24 Hours Schedule:
Saturday, June 17
3:00: 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours start
Sunday, June 18
3:00: 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours finish