MacNeil and Bleekemolen Take Tough Fifth Place at Lime Rock in GTC
LAKEVILLE, Conn. - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen were classified in fifth place in the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix GTC Class at Lime Rock Park this afternoon.
MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) had the wheel of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche for the start of the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race this afternoon. MacNeil put in a solid drive spending over an hour-and-thirty minutes in the white and black Porsche. The University of Colorado at Boulder college student pitted on lap 91 and turned the car over to Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo). Bleekemolen left the pits in first place only to be called back for a pit lane infraction, putting him back to third. Strong lap times brought Dutchman back up to second. A late race restart with six laps remaining was the team's undoing. The No. 62 Risi Ferrari was put into the grass and met the WeatherTech Porsche at the apex of Turn Five center punching the 911 and ending the day on lap 181 of 184. The team will have a lot of work to prepare a new car for the next round at Mosport in two weeks' time.
"It is a shame," Bleekemolen said. "A second place finish was looking good for the points. I am lucky to be fine after the incident, it was a big hit. Unfortunately the Porsche is pretty bad and we will have to figure what to do for Mosport. I have never seen a Porsche damaged so badly. We will keep fighting and we will try to get back into the points lead soon."
MacNeil had a strong start to the race.
"My stint in the car was great," MacNeil said. "I was in the car for more than an hour-and-a-half and gave the car over to Jeroen in third. I was able to turn fast consistent laps and felt good about my time behind the wheel. We left the pits first and then we had the penalty and we were looking good for second place there towards the end. It is terrible to lose the points and the car with a few laps to go. But I guess that is racing."
Alex Job, team owner, has a lot of work to do before Mosport.
"Terrible what happened at the end," Job said. "Jeroen was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Ferrari came sailing at him. I am glad he is ok, it was a big hit. We think, right now, that the car is too damaged to be rebuilt. So we are exploring our options and will we will be at Mosport in two weeks ready to go."
The American Le Mans Series will travel to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Grand Prix of Mosport, July 19-21
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.