WeatherTech Porsche Looking to Rebound at Laguna Seca
TAVARES Fla. - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen are looking to rebound from a disappointing last round at Long Beach in this weekend's American Le Mans Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Coming off of a fourth-place finish at Long Beach, the duo of MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL) and Bleekmolen (Monte Carlo) are looking to get back to the top of the GTC standings at one of their favorite tracks. The pair has each been on the top step of the podium at the 2.2-mile 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit located just south Monterey Bay.
"Laguna Seca is such an iconic race track, and I have been lucky enough to have had success there in the past," MacNeil said. "I've won there in both the Ferrari [Ferrari Challenge] and the Porsche. Last year, we had an issue with the throttle sticking on me, so I hope we don't have that issue again. Laguna is a weird track in the sense that it has everything you can imagine - elevation change, on camber corners, off camber corners, fast corners, slow corners, etc. This makes it difficult to set the car up for the whole track. We often find ourselves very quick in a few corners and not so quick in others, so our setup will have to have some compromises to it but we are ready to go for the win.
Like MacNeil, Bleekemolen has won at Laguna Seca.
"In 2010 I won my first ALMS race at Laguna, so it will always be a special place for me," Bleekemolen said. "It's one of the best tracks there is and with one of the longer races of our calendar is a highlight of the season. Even if you're from Europe, Laguna is one of those tracks you just want to race. It has great history, but for a reason. It's a very challenging place for all drivers. For set up, you need to focus on the whole lap. All corners have the same surface and pretty much the same amount of grip. So if you find a good set up, you can have a big advantage. I drove this race twice with my brother, which makes it extra special for me. It's a great event. Only bad thing about finishing at night is the temperature. It gets really cold on the podium. But, also this year I hope to be very cold again after the race!"
Alex Job, team owner, wants to go into the Le Mans break at the top of the points' standings.
"This is the last race until July 6" Job said. "With the Le Mans break starting on Sunday, we would like to get the points lead back and let that carry us to July. Both Jeroen and Cooper have won here in a Porsche. They both really like the track, so that is a pretty good recipe for success for this weekend. The race is a little longer, but that plays to our strength as a team."
The American Le Mans Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca television broadcast will air May12 at 4:00 pm EDT on ESPN 2. Live streaming can be viewed on May 11 starting at 6:15 pm EDT on ESPN 3, with live qualifying running on May10 starting at 7:45 pm EDT on ESPN 3.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 69 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 nine 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.