Alton, Va., (Aug. 28, 2022) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) and Jules Gounon (France) finished sixth in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
MacNeil had the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG for the start under near 95-degree temperatures at the rolling VIR circuit located just over the border of North Carolina. He was able to get a clean start and move the red-white-and-blue WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG with Mercedes of Billings, Montana support forward. Handing off to teammate Gounon the team took an early ending fuel strategy to go to the finish. Exiting the pits the Frenchman was behind the No. 14 GTD Pro Lexus who proceeded to hold him up protecting his GTD teammate just two positions ahead on the track. He finally got around the 14 but it was too late to fight for the final step on the podium and had to settle for sixth on the day.
“It was a decent finishing position considering where we started,” MacNeil said. “Without getting held up by the No. 14 Lexus for almost a half hour we could’ve been fighting for a podium position. Obviously, they were covering their sister car the 12. Car is clean, we had good pit stops and now we will look forward to Petit Le Mans in a month. Hopefully we will see cooler temperatures there that will better suit our WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG.”
“We tried today with a little different strategy which seemed to be working,” Gounon said. “I got blocked by a GTD Pro car for most of my last stint which stopped us from competing for a podium. When I got past him it was too late to get to the two in front of me for the podium. Cooper had a great stint, and the WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition team did a great job with the pit stops and the car. We were hoping for a bit more. I wish the team the best of luck at Petit Le Mans next month.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship will travel to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the season finale Motul Petit Le Mans to run Oct. 1.