BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 9, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette finished 11th in the GTD class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
MacNeil started 11th on the GTD grid in the No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3. He drove an uneventful, clean stint and picked up one spot before handing the car over to Jeannette in 10th on lap 36.
From there, Jeannette pushed hard to move the No. 50 Mercedes through the GTD pack. But, it was tough. That said, he managed to get the car up to ninth before the second round of pit stops started to cycle through. At that point, Jeannette was in fourth place before it was his turn to pit.
The team hoped to pick up a few more spots during the pit stop, but ended up losing a couple due to an issue fueling the car. When the pit stops cycled through, the team was 12th with about 50 minutes remaining in the race and ultimately finished 11th.
Despite the 11th place finish, the Riley Motorsports team did an excellent job rebounding after a crash earlier in the weekend. The team worked all day Friday, Friday night, and well into Saturday mid-morning to fix a heavily damage car. In fact, the crew never left the track for the first 36 hours.
“It was not the best weekend for us,” MacNeil said. “We started with a wreck. Hats off to the guys for fixing the car, which took a long time – big thanks to them. There is some positives we can take away from the weekend. We learned a bunch about the car and figured some things out about the set-up. Overall, the car was decent in the race. We were just a bit slower than all the other cars – as far as BoP [Balance of Performance] goes. We drove our own race. It was clean. Now, we’re on to the next one.”
“The driving standards have gone down,” Jeannette said following the race. “People that are multiple laps down, fighting, banging wheels, getting involved in stuff they shouldn’t. That’s stupid. I mean, it was a crazy race.
"The car was decent. We had a crappy second pit stop and lost a couple of places from that. And, I was really conservative when it rained. I didn’t want to crash the car twice in one weekend. We were right there under the last yellow, and could have made up some spots, but it was just such carnage. Joerg [Bergmeister] drove right in the side of me to get by. People were driving like idiots.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship next heads to Lakeville, Connecticut for the Northeast Grand Prix July 21 – 22. Live flag-to-flag race coverage begins at 3 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, July 22 on FS2.