Lakeville, Ct., (July 21, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette
will start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix from the eighth row in GTD tomorrow afternoon.
The two-day race weekends at Lime Rock demand that the team have a good set-up on the car when they unload. With just two practices and a 15-minute qualifying session MacNeil and Jeannette were making progress adjusting on the car with the team. The 90-degree ambient and searing track temps also affected the set-up on the Mercedes. In addition, the 20 extra kilos the car is carrying since the last race is severely affecting the handling and it shows on the time sheet.
MacNeil had the controls for qualifying around the 1.5-miles and seven-turn Lime Rock circuit. He was able to post a time of 53.629 that will have him starting the No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes from row eight for the 3:10 p.m. ET start tomorrow.
“We came out for the first practice and the car was pretty slow as expected,” MacNeil said. “A lot of that goes to the 45lb. weight increase since the last race. We are now the heaviest GTD car by a good margin, close to 100 lbs. When you keep putting weight on a race car it takes a toll on the longevity of the car as a whole and the tires. All of that is detrimental to a lap time. I was basically fighting not to be last. I tried to drive the wheels off the No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes to get a time. This is a momentum track and with our weight it is tough.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship from Lime Rock Park live flag-to-flag race coverage begins at 3 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, July 22 on FS2.