Portimao, Portugal, (October 24, 2021) – Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Christian Ried (Germany), and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) finished fifth in today’s running of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) season finale race at the Algarve Circuit in Portimao, Portugal.
The team qualified the No. 77 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR on the front row of the LMGTE Class in second. Ried took the start for the four-hour race. Just about 45 minutes into the event a red flag stoppage occurred for track repairs following an accident by an LMP2 car on the front straight. At the time of the stoppage, which lasted 22 minutes, Ried was running in fourth. After the first pit stop, taking fuel only, Ried was able to lead laps in the closing moments of his stint.
With just over two hours remaining MacNeil took the wheel of the Proton Competition prepared Porsche for his stint. He kept the car in podium contention prior to handing it over to Bruni with one-hour remaining. The Italian took over the car which developed an engine mis-fire during his run. He was able to bring the red-white-and-blue WeatherTech Porsche home in fifth position. The finish gives the team a fifth place in the overall 2021 ELMS LMGTE Championship standings.
“We had a pretty good weekend qualifying second and finishing fifth,” MacNeil said. “I had a good stint. I was pleased with my lap times. No real drama during my run. The Proton Competition team had the WeatherTech Racing Porsche really dialed into the track today. Christian had a good opening stint and Gimmi (Bruni) did a great job to bring it home in fifth with the mis-fire.
“I am looking forward to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in three weeks. I have two wins there and a third to close-out the GTLM era IMSA would be really cool.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM cars will make their final run before the series changes over to an all GT3 format for 2022 at the season finale Petit Le Mans to run at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Nov. 10-13.