Daytona Beach, Fla. (Jan. 30, 2022) – The No. 15 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, with Mercedes of Billings (Montana) support, finished fifth in today's 60th IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The No. 15 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes, driven by Dirk Müller, Patrick Assenheimer, and Austin Cindric, weathered several episodes of contact on the track to keep the car competitive all race. The trio of drivers had to manage cold tires, with ambient temperatures reaching a low of 28-degrees, to bring the red-white-and-blue Mercedes-AMG GT3 home just short of the podium.
“I wish we would have had a little more in the pocket for performance this morning,” Müller said. “The competition was just too strong today. We just had to get the car to the finish line. We were in a position to take it if something happened there at the end. We needed some action in front of us to get on the podium and it didn’t happen. Thanks to everyone at WeatherTech, Mercedes and to Patrick and Austin for being great teammates and strong drivers. It was an awesome experience. P5 for us today is a good result.”
The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche GT3 R fell out of contention early having to visit the garage twice before the Proton Competition crew and Porsche Motorsport techs resolved the issue. Cooper MacNeil, Julien Andlauer, Matteo Cairoli, and Alessio Picariello managed to complete the race 38 laps down to be classified eighth in GTD Pro at the checker.
MacNeil, who drove the team's Porsche and drove the No. 97 Mercedes this weekend, knows how tough it is to win at Daytona.
“We had a strong Porsche in the early going,” MacNeil said. “We were battling for the lead in the early part of the race until the first of two garage visits. Hats off to the Proton team to get the car back out and to the finish line.
“In the No. 97 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3, we also had an issue with a $13 part that cost us a possible win or podium as well. We made it up to the lead just before sunrise when a cooling hose let go, ending the race for that car. The good news is we were competitive in both cars and the guys in the No. 15 Mercedes showed well for the brand.
“Daytona is tough place to win. You have to have a perfect trip with no issues.”
The No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 took the overall GTD Pro Class lead at 6 a.m. to have the cooling hose give up just 20-minutes later. The driving team of MacNeil, Maro Engel, Jules Gounon, and Daniel Juncadella had settle for a 11th place classification at the end of the race.
WeatherTech Racing Rolex 24 driver lineup:
No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R will be Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill), Julien Andlauer (France), Matteo Cairoli (Italy), and Alessio Picariello (Belgium).
No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill), Maro Engel (Germany), Jules Gounon (France), and Daniel Juncadella (Spain).
No. 15 WeatherTech Racing with Mercedes of Billings (Montana) Mercedes-AMG GT3 Dirk Müller (Germany), Patrick Assenheimer (Germany), and Austin Cindric (Mooresville, N.C.).
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will head to central Florida next for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, to run March 16-19.