MacNeil logs first 24-hour win
Austin, Texas, (November 18, 2019) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Ben Keating, (Tomball, Texas), Jereon Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo), and Felipe Fraga (Brazil) won the Creventic 24 Hour race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Sunday.
Fraga started the weekend off strong by putting the No. 4 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 prepared by Black Falcon on the pole for the race by posting a time of 2:05.697. Fraga also had the controls of the black and white Mercedes for the start as well. The team had to strategize around some slow zones through the afternoon that set them back a lap, but the consistent driving of MacNeil, Keating and Bleekemolen throughout Saturday had them in the lead at the end of the 11-hour segment one of the race before bedtime.
Taking the race restart from the front Sunday morning, again, the Black Falcon led crew did an excellent job with a brake change under a slow period, had great strategy throughout the day on Sunday allowing the drivers to run fast laps to the overall win by four laps at the drop of the checker later that evening.
"An absolutely fantastic way to end the 2019 racing season," MacNeil said. "It was my first overall 24-hour win and doing it with two new teammates in Ben and Felipe in a Mercedes is very cool. I hadn't driven an AMG GT3 since 2017. A big thanks to the Black Falcon guys, Ben, Felipe, and Jeroen for a flawless effort all weekend. We never had any real issues with the car or on pit lane. The drivers never put a wheel off and kept the car clean all race. To give the Black Falcon their second win in two years at COTA is special. Our WeatherTech Mercedes was perfect. Big thanks to Mercedes as well, we had a fast and reliable car all weekend. Looking forward to the Roar Before the 24 in two months."
MacNeil adds the Creventic 24 COTA trophy to the case containing the rest of the hardware from 2019. He won the SCCA Runoffs T2 Class and had four podium finishes in IMSA (Sebring, Watkins Glen, VIR, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca), a podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a Ferrari Challenge North America championship as well this year.
The 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will start with the traditional Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona International Speedway January 3-5.