WeatherTech Racing Fourth at Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wis., (August 2, 2020) - WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Toni Vilander (Kankaanpää, Finland) finished fourth today in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race at Road America.
MacNeil took the start of the 2 hour and 40-minute race from the third row in the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 Evo this morning. His first stint was clean with some hard racing going through the Kink side-by-side with a competitor. He was able to turn the car over in the top five to Toni Vilander.
With 41-minutes remaining heavy rain moved over the 4-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit. The IMSA Officials stopped the race as lightening was also in the area. At the time the cars were parked Vilander was scored in fifth. With the race clock counting down to 25-minutes the race cars returned the track behind the Pace Car under caution. The race restarted in the pouring rain, getting just two green laps, and the Finn was able to move up a position and bring the WeatherTech Racing Ferrari home in fourth.
"It was an exciting race," Vilander said. "We were not super-fast in the dry conditions but obviously we tried to optimize everything we had. This one manufacturer in our category is in a league of their own. The rain made it exciting in the end, our final pit stop was actually perfect. Unfortunately, there was just too much water on track. I couldn't risk the WeatherTech Ferrari, with the low visibility. Instead of fighting like crazy for the podium I kept my speed and we closed it out fourth in the end. I take responsibility for not going for the win, but it just felt too risky. "With the condition sometimes we go a little bit too extreme by waiting to see cars in the wall before we see a yellow. I would love to race in the rain with a bit better visibility and less water on the track. I think the last two laps were a bit too much. I think finishing the race fourth was pretty good considering how we started the weekend; we weren't on the pace. The guys on the engineering side and the mechanics did an awesome job. The timing of the last pit stop was perfect. The guys read the radar perfectly. When we put the rain tires on the rain came. So, thank you to the team, let's go into the next one."
"I was lucky, I got the laps in the dry," MacNeil said. "The start was clean, the only real moment I had was going side-by-side through the Kink, which is the most dangerous part of the track, but it turned out ok. When Toni got in all hell broke loose. The rain came and we were able to get the WeatherTech Ferrari into the pits for Michelin rain tires. That was a huge call by the Scuderia Corsa team. When the race went green it was just too crazy to try for any late race heroics. Fourth is as good as we could have hoped for this weekend. We will go onto VIR in two weeks for the next one with a car in one piece."
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTLM and GTD competitors will return to action at Virginia International Raceway, August 25 - 23.