Spa, Belgium, (September 19, 2021) – Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Christian Ried (Germany), and Matt Campbell (Australia) finished seventh in today’s running of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) race at the Spa-Francorchamps.
Matt Campbell had the wheel of the Proton Competition prepared No. 77 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR for qualifying and initially put in a time good for second. But the young Australian exceeded track limits on his fast laps and took no time in qualifying which had the car starting eighth for the race. The team knows there is speed in the WeatherTech Porsche as the sister Proton No. 93 Porsche took the pole. Due to Campbell not getting a time in the 12-minute qualifying session he had to start the car.
MacNeil put in a long second stint taking over from Campbell. Throughout his run he kept the car in a podium position handing off to Ried who had to take the car to the finish against the pro drivers in the GTE Class. Ried suffered a late race penalty for exceeding track limits and brought the car to the checker in seventh.
MacNeil was making his first visit to Spa this weekend. “The track is as advertised – awesome,” he said. “The first time you go through La Source, Eau Rouge, and Raidillon you think of all of the famous drivers that have driven this track – amazing. Then once up to speed you get that driver’s grin of how cool it is to be racing at Spa.”
“Matt put in some fast-qualifying laps but you have to keep it within the track limits for those to count. He was pushing as our sister car was on the pole, can’t blame him for that effort. Without the time, he had to start the race, which really changes strategy in this series.
“Unfortunately, with Matt not getting a time in qualifying that really changed our strategy. Usually Christian would have started, I would go second and then Matt would finish. I had a strong double stint. I got faster throughout the weekend as I got used to the track and getting more laps under my belt. We really should’ve had, at the very least, a podium here this weekend. We will see if we can get that win next weekend at Long Beach.”
The team will return to action next weekend at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Long Beach Grand Prix, Sept. 24-25.