MacNeil and Bleekemolen Motivated for Mosport in Resurrected Porsche
TAVARES, Fla. - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen are motivated for a strong result in their resurrected No. 22 WeatherTech.ca Porsche for this weekend's American Le Mans Series weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Grand Prix of Mosport July 19-21.
Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) was taken out with just four laps remaining at Lime Rock Park just 10 days ago while running second in GTC destroying the WeatherTech.ca Porsche. The team was able to get a 911 body from Porsche to rebuild the black and white racer. Usually a task that takes weeks, took the team only eight days. Every useable part, including the complex electronics were transferred over to the new shell. MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) and teammate Bleekemonlen have special motivation to get back into the GTC championship lead this weekend at the track located 40 minutes north of Toronto. Despite the crash, the duo is just five points out of the GTC points lead.
"Last year at Mosport we finished second and extended our points lead," MacNeil said. "This year, heading into Mosport, the circumstances are a little different. We are only five points out of the lead in GTC. The goal this weekend is to win and take over the points lead, which we can do. It would be great to get a win for the crew as they have worked so hard this past week building a brand new car after our original car got destroyed at Lime Rock with just four laps to go."
"Mosport is such a special track because it has pretty much remained unchanged (minus the name) since 1961," he continued. "It is very fast and has some technical sections, which our new WeatherTech Porsche should be able to handle quite well."
Bleekemolen likes that the 2.4-mile, 10-turn Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as it is a real drivers track.
"I have only raced at Mosport once, back in 2010," Bleekemolen said. "I'm looking forward to going back, as I really love the track. I took second place in 2010. Let's hope we can go one better this weekend. The track is very fast, which also makes it very challenging. It's an old school track. I think all racing drivers like the thrill of high speed corners. Traffic is a bit tricky there, as the LMP cars have much more aerodynamic grip. Tire wear will be an issue for the race at Mosport. We need to focus on that too. The car needs to feel comfortable in the high speed corners, so you can push it hard."
'Without the hit we would have been leading the championship with a nice gap, now we are third," he continued. "The team hasn't done anything wrong. This was just a very unlucky situation we had at Lime Rock. So we have to keep doing what we are doing and try to get the points lead back. We are in a big fight for this championship and I know we have the people to win it."
Alex Job, team owner, has his team working flat-out.
"Our original plan was to stay over at Lime Rock for two days of prep and then go north to Canada," Job said. "That plan changed dramatically when Jeroen was hit at the end of the race. We had to scramble and find a new tub, then head to North Carolina. The guys went down there and switched over all of the useable parts and replaced the ones that were broken. It has been a lot of hours over the past 10 days, but we will show up at Mosport ready to go. Jeroen and Cooper are motivated."
The American Le Mans Series will travel to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Grand Prix of Mosport, July 19-21. The race will be broadcast on July 21 stating at 1:00 pm EDT on ESPN 2. Live streaming will start July 21, at 11:45 am EDT on ESPN 3 with qualifying being streamed July 20 at 3:20 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.