Alton, Va., (October 8, 2021) – Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Kevin Estre (France) will start tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) from third in GTLM.
The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche RSR was fast straight off the trailer at the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIR rolling road course today. The duo of MacNeil and Estre led both practices heading into the 15-minute qualifying session today.
MacNeil had the controls of the red, white, and blue Porsche for the 15-minute qualifying session. He had to trust the fix by the Proton Competition team to the steering and was able to post a fast lap of 1:41.445 that will have him starting third for tomorrow’s noon start.
“I had some really nice laps, we had a mechanical issue in the second practice at the start of my mock qualifying run, so I wasn't able to do a practice qualifier,” MacNeil said. “I went straight into qualifying without really knowing what we had and hoping that the car was fixed. Obviously, I trust our WeatherTech Proton guys and girls to do a great job and that's exactly what they did. The car was perfect in qualifying and honestly it handled the best it has all day. So, hats off to them for working hard and fixing the car. Sometimes mechanical issues happen, especially with how complicated these cars are. It ended up being a steering rack issue, but the WeatherTech Porsche was great in qualifying and to be a second off of the Corvette guys without much practice is something to be proud of. So, starting in a good position tomorrow, the only question mark is the weather, so we'll see what that brings.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship Michelin GT Challenge race at VIR for GTLM and GTD will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 12 p.m. ET tomorrow, Oct. 9. The event can also be streamed live on the TrackPass app and heard on Radiolemans.com.