SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2018) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Alessandro Balzan (Italy) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City) will start sixth in the GTD class for this weekend's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway.
Jeannette put in a solid qualifying effort behind the wheel of the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3. He set the qualifying pace early with a 1:59.609. In fact, he was the GTD class leader halfway through the 15-minute session before coming into the pits to cool the tires following his fourth circuit around the 3.74-mile, 17-turn road course.
On pit lane, Jeannette radioed the crew chief and said he felt the car still had a few tenths left in it, but the car was also sliding around. The No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari remained in the top three until the final two minutes of the session. The team decided not to send Jeanette back out to try again. But then, three other cars recorded faster times, dropping the No. 63 to sixth on the time sheet.
"It was a good effort by the team," Jeannette said after qualifying. "The car is mostly comfortable to drive. We had a relatively large balance change over the laps. I think we need to look at that to get it a little bit more consistent. The first lap was pretty good. But, I threw away a couple of sections trying to get a little bit too much out of it. I think we probably had at least three tenths in hand, which would have likely moved us up a couple of spots. In the end, I think we'll have a good race car for tomorrow and that's the most important thing."
"Gunnar did a great job in qualifying," MacNeil said. "It's always good to start close to the front - from the third row, P6. The Ferrari is quick so we're looking forward to the race tomorrow."
The green flag drops on the 66th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at 10:40 a.m. (ET) Saturday, March 17, with broadcast race coverage also beginning at 10:30 a.m. on FOX Sports 1. Race fans will need to switch over to Fox Sports 2 at 12:30 p.m. to see continuing race coverage that will air live until 3:40 p.m. The final five hours of the race will be broadcast on FS2 beginning at 6 p.m. through the end of the race.