MacNeil and Bleekemolen team in WeatherTech Porsche for ALMS GTC
Champions going for GTC crown
TAVARES, Fla. - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen will team-up in the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing GTC Porsche to defend the 2012 championship in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL), 2012 ALMS GTC driver champion, is joined by fellow GTC Champion (2010, 2011) Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) in the WeatherTech Porsche for another full season in what will be the final year of the ALMS with Alex Job Racing. The duo teamed up for one race in 2012, at Road America, where they accounted for pole position and a convincing class win.
"Our goal for GTC in 2013 is to win," MacNeil said. "Alex Job Racing and WeatherTech always want to win. We will work very hard to make this season an unforgettable one and we will try very hard to win the championship again. I am really looking forward to running at Sebring and Road America this year. At Sebring last year, we came so close to the win, but finished second. I want that win bad. At Road America we had a ton of family and friends at the race that witnessed our win. I want to do that again. There are some good teams this year. The Flying Lizard guys are coming and Damien (Faulkner) in the TRG car will add another level of competition to the GTC class."
Bleekemolen joined Alex Job Racing and MacNeil last weekend for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Now the pair will drive the 10-race ALMS season.
"Our goal is definitely the championship," Bleekemolen said. "I joined the team that won it in 2012 and I won it in 2010 and 2011 with Black Swan Racing. So we should be a strong combination. I love street circuits, so Long Beach and Baltimore are high on my list of tracks I am looking forward to running. But also going to COTA (Circuit of the Americas) will be really cool. America has some great tracks like Road America and Road Atlanta. The whole calendar is pretty impressive. I hope to win many races. Also I really want to win Sebring. I have never won that race, as I always did the race in LMP1. So hopefully this time we can take the victory there! The competition will be tougher than even in GTC. There are just so many good teams and drivers this year, it will be great. Traffic is always tough in GTC, with so many fast cars approaching you, but it will be fun. I'm looking forward a lot!"
Alex Job has all of the pieces in place to repeat as GTC champions.
"Jeroen and Cooper bring a lot of speed and experience to the car," Job said. "They got to know each other last year at Road America and carried that relationship forward into Daytona last weekend. They have both won the GTC championship with different co-drivers, so we think they can do it again. The WeatherTech Porsche has a winning pedigree that we want to continue. The bar has been raised a couple of notches with the Flying Lizard car coming into the series, so we will have to raise our level of preparedness as well. We are focused to repeat as championship winners in the last year of the ALMS."
The team will open the year with the ALMS Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway, Feb. 5-8.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 68 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won four championships (GTC 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts eight Sebring 12-hour wins.
The ALMS GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche's one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.