MacNeil, left, and Vilander celebrate podium finish at VIR.
Alton, Va., (August 25, 2019) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Toni Vilander (Kankaanpää, Finland) finished third today in GTD at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin SportsCar GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
MacNeil had the wheel of the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing for the start of the two-hour-and-forty-minute race at VIR. Just 20-minutes into the event a full course flew for debris on the race track. The Scuderia Corsa play callers decided to keep him out as most of the GTD competitors came to pit lane. Running in second MacNeil held the distance to third to hand off to Vilander on lap 26. With just 19-minutes remaining in the race a second full course caution flew. With field nose-to-tail for a restart Vilander was in fourth for the 10-minute sprint to the finish. On the second to last lap, he was able to pass the No. 9 Porsche to take the last podium spot. The third place is the second of the season for the team, the first was at Sebring in March.
“Great way to end a trying weekend,” MacNeil said. “We had a bit of hiccup in qualifying, but were able to make up some spots early on as it is so tough to pass in this class. Toni did a great job to make the pass there on the restart to get us into third place. The Scuderia Corsa guys were strong in the pits and that helped with track position too. I am looking forward to going to what we consider a home race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca next where we have been strong in the past.”
“It feels good to be more competitive,” Vilander said. “In some places the other cars were a little bit stronger, but we had good pace. We have a good foundation to work from for the last two races of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Lauguna Seca, a home race, and the finale at Petit Le Mans. The pass at the end, lots of respect to Scott Hargrove in the Porsche, this time it was him, next time it might be me. Good racing today. A good podium finish for the WeatherTech Racing team!”
Next on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule is the penultimate round of the series to run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, September 13-15.