ALTON, Va., (August 19, 2018) – Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Ut.) drove to a fourth-place finish in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) today.
The No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari team took the decision to put new tires on the car and start at the back following yesterday’s qualifying session. MacNeil had the wheel as he took the green flag and immediately got by one of the Acura cars. Maintaining a strong pace, he handed the Scuderia Corsa prepared 488 over to Jeannette who was able to make up track position, thanks, in part, to a full course caution that flew an hour and twenty-two minutes into the race. On the next stop the team took the opportunity to short fill the fuel. After the pit stops cycled through under the caution, Jeannette was classified in second in GTD. As the race progressed, the track position was surrendered as a result of reduced RPM levels (BOP adjustment) and pick-up (debris) on the tires. On the strength of great strategy and strong driving by MacNeil and Jeannette they were able to come to the checker in fourth on the day.
“Considering the overall performance package on the WeatherTech Ferrari it was a maximum finishing position for us today,” MacNeil said. “Big thanks to the Scuderia Corsa/WeatherTech guys for working their butts off and putting us in a position with strategy to get, probably, more than we deserved today. We made up some points in the championship. We have two races left, with WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca coming up next.”
“Now I am disappointed we are not on the podium to carry on the streak,” Jeannette said. “It was an amazing call to short fill us on the second stop to move up several positions on the field. Some how I got a lot of pick-up on the tires. On the restart I was like three seconds off the pace, the rears came in but the fronts never really did. It improved, then I carried too much speed into the corner and lost a few positions. The guys did a great job in the pits again to get me back up there. We did not have a car to race today but we showed a lot of heart and never gave up.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the penultimate round and the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix to run September 7-9.