Penalties, flames, heat thwart podium run
WATKINS GLEN, Ny., (June 30, 2018) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Jeff Segal (Miami, Fla.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Ut.) were thwarted by penalties, flames and 100-degree temperatures to finish seventh in GTD in today's running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
Segal had the wheel of the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari for the start of the quarter-day event. Segal handed the black and white Scuderia Corsa prepared Ferrari 488 over to MacNeil who was able to keep it competitive in the top ten. Upon the handoff to Jeannette two hours into the race he was flagged with a stop-and-go penalty for speeding on pit lane. During Jeannette's stint he had the WeatherTech Ferrari as high as third in GTD before giving over to Segal for this second stint. Segal also had to return for a drive-through penalty for a pit equipment infraction. Then with just over two-hours remaining while MacNeil was getting in for another run, a flash fire from fuel had the Scuderia Corsa crew extinguishing flames on the Ferrari. MacNeil was able to rejoin the race with Segal taking the last run to soldier onto take the checker.
With all of the races trials and tribulations, and competing in near 100-degree heat, the team took the checkered flag, amazingly, in seventh within 11-seconds of the GTD winner and were the top running Ferrari on the day.
"It was just not our day here at The Glen, with two penalties and a fire," MacNeil said. "Those three things cost us a lot of time. No one ever gave up! The crew, drivers and engineers all dug in and clawed back. Kind of like Le Mans, we had some issues, but made our way back to a decent finish. We have another race in less than a week. We will turn the page and head to Canada."
"It was an eventful race," Jeannette said. "Car caught on fire, I had to go to medical, the AC wasn't working in the car and it was hot. We had a good car in practice and we thought we would have more in the race. I think the heat just took more out of our car than the others for some reason. Finishing 11-seconds behind the leader isn't that bad considering what happened to us all race."
"We finished within 11-seconds of the leader," Segal said. "Maybe not the same pace as the front few, but when you're in front and they have to pass you it is a whole different deal. I am proud of the comeback by the team, engineers and Cooper and Gunnar. We tried. At the end it was a good little dog fight, but some of the other cars had an extra gear and we were already topped out. We will comeback in a more traditional sprint race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park next weekend."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors are packing up and will travel directly to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for consecutive weekends, July 6-8.