ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 5, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) will start from the sixth row in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
Heading into this weekend, WeatherTech Racing made a BoP-based decision to campaign a Porsche instead of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 that the team had competed and won with earlier in the season. To that point, the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Porsche is running for the first time this year, which means the team has spent most of the weekend trying to find just the right set-up to make the car immediately competitive in the highly competitive GTD class.
For qualifying, McNeil had the wheel of the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Porsche and turned his quickest lap of 2:08.979 on his eighth and final lap around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course. His qualifying effort was good enough for 11th on the GTD grid and he was the second fastest of the four Porsches in the GTD field.
“This is a brand new race car,” MacNeil said. “We had to do a lot of updates to it over the last week just to get it up to date with all of the other Porsches in the paddock. So, we’re already a little bit behind the curve. But, hats off to the guys for working really hard to get the car prepared and ready to go. I think they did a pretty darn good job.
“In qualifying, I thought my pace was pretty good. For some reason, the lap time just wasn’t there. So, we’ll go back to the drawing board, look at some data, figure some stuff out, and go faster tomorrow.”
The conditions for today’s qualifying were much different than they were for both of Friday’s practices. Yesterday, it rained with temperatures in the low 50s. Today, it was partly sunny and dry with temperatures in the low 70s.
“Overall, the weekend’s been positive,” Jeannette said. “We’ve sort of been playing catch up going to the Porsche. The track conditions yesterday made it difficult to work on anything in terms of set-up. The track was wet, then drying, then damp. But, overall we’re in a decent spot. I think we’ll have a good race car for tomorrow – especially for mixed [weather] conditions. That’s all we can do, just go out and race it.”
The Continental Tires Road Race Showcase gets underway at 1:35 p.m. (CDT) Sunday, Aug. 6. Race fans can watch all of the live racing action beginning at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on FS1.