Daniel Juncadella, left, Jules Gounon, Maro Engel, and Cooper MacNeil celebrate.
Braselton, Ga., (October 14, 2023) - WeatherTech Racing won the season finale IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Petit Le Mans run at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta today.
· WeatherTech Racing/Proton win Petit Le Mans
· Team wins the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Championship
· Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella finish second in the GTD Pro driver’s standings
· Team posted wins at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
· The WeatherTech brand has four Petit Le Mans wins
· Cooper MacNeil has three Petit Le Mans wins as a driver
Jules Gounon (France), Daniel Juncadella (Spain), and Maro Engel (Germany) drove the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support to the race win as well as the season ending IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Championship (IMEC). The IMEC is awarded to the team that scores the most points in the series’ endurance events. The team won the season opening Rolex 24 At Daytona with Cooper MacNeil to go along with a third-place finish at Sebring and a fourth at Watkins Glen. In addition, the duo of Gounon and Juncadella won two sprint races run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The race today was not uneventful. Several cautions, 13, interrupted the running of the classic 10-hour race. A slight hiccup for a fueling infraction four hours into the race was the only mistake of the day by the team. A great opening stint by Gounon who was in the car for three hours set the tone for the race as he pitted in the lead. Handing over to Engel, the Germany Mercedes-AMG Factory Driver was able to overcome a fuel pump issue by cycling through several electronic procedures to avoid pitting out of sequence. A late race strategy call had the team fuel with 70 minutes to go with Juncadella exiting the pits in the GTD Pro lead. He had to weather two caution periods and restarts to close out the race, bringing the red white and-blue Mercedes-AMG GT3 home to bookend the year for the WeatherTech Racing/Proton team in winning style.
“Amazing! We came into this race with big hopes, happy to have Maro with us,” Gounon said. “We started the year with the amazing win at Daytona and then at Sebring we did our best and finished third. Petit Le Mans is an amazing race and one that every driver wants on their C.V. None of us had won here, and for me it was my first time here and to get a win is just great. I want to thank the MacNeil family, David and Cooper for all of the effort to build this project around us. To win Daytona, Petit Le Mans and two sprint races was great. We are proud of the WeatherTech Racing/Proton team for all their hard work.”
“It was a great result for the whole WeatherTech Racing/Proton team,” Juncadella said. “We had a tough middle of the season, but we had a great car today. It made my life easy to bring it home for the win in my last stint. It was great to win the IMEC Championship, Rolex 24 and the two sprint races and then to finish with a big win today is amazing. Thanks to David and Cooper MacNeil for all of their support throughout the year and the WeatherTech Racing/Proton crew.”
“An amazing end to the season and my first Petit Le Mans win,” Engel said. “Thanks to David and Cooper and everyone at WeatherTech for this amazing program. It has been an amazing season, first by winning the big one at Daytona and now winning Petit Le Mans. To cap it off getting the IMEC Championship for Dani and Jules is great as well. Big thanks to the WeatherTech Racing/Proton guys and girls for getting us back up to the front today after some mid race issues. A great win for this team.”
“Stellar season by the entire WeatherTech Racing/Proton crew,” Cooper MacNeil said. “Dani and Jules did the heavy lifting this year running in the car for the full season. Hats off to them for finishing second in the GTD Pro championship. Four wins on the season and the IMEC win is spectacular. The WeatherTech brand has four Petit Le Mans win trophies, and I have three of those as a driver. It was a great weekend as we started with the announcement of extending our entitlement sponsorship deal and then to take the win was the cherry on top. The WeatherTech Racing/Proton team had their hard work rewarded with the win.”
The team will celebrate with the IMSA WeatherTech Night of Champions celebration tomorrow evening at the Don Panoz built Chateau Elan.