Lakeville, Conn., (July 16, 2022) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) and Jules Gounon (France) finished seventh in GTD at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park today.
MacNeil started the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support under overcast skies and 80-degree temps. MacNeil was able to move up to the top five before he handed it over to Gounon. His stint was without drama until he exited the final turn and moved over to pit when he was hit from behind by a BMW. He was able to keep the car on the track and pit without damage.
Gounon took over and proceeded to set the fast lap of the race overall early in his stint passing the GTD Pro Porsche, eventual winner, in the process. With 20 minutes to go in the race, the event’s first caution flew. The Frenchman was in eighth when the race restarted. He then had contact with the No. 16 Porsche on the third to the last lap. When he crossed the finish line he was in fifth. He was assessed a drive through penalty which put the team back to seventh on the final classification.
“Tough race, going almost all green,” MacNeil said. “I was able to make up some positions during my stint. It wasn’t without incident. When I was pitting I got hit from behind by the BMW and got crossed up, but made it to pit lane safely. Jules put in some fast laps and the car was good in clean air. Unfortunately, he got caught up with the No.16 Porsche and we got put back to seventh. I hope we can carry the positives of today over to Road America, our home race, in three weeks.”
Gounon and the team appealed the penalty, but the IMSA Officials upheld their call.
“I was on the radio with the team, and we agreed on a ‘full send’ to go for a podium finish at the end,” Gounon said. “I launched an attack on the Porsche who moved a little under braking and I got into him. I thought it was a racing incident. We had a lot of fun today. We had the fastest lap of the race, and we were quick. Luck wasn’t on our side. I was happy to be back with Cooper, he drove a great stint. I hope to go for a podium when I return with the team at VIR.”
Next up for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship is the IMSA Fastlane Sportscar Weekend to run at Road America August 4-7.