08-27-13

MacNeil and Bleekemolen Take Tight GTC Points Battle to Streets of Baltimore

LR Fin WT

TAVARES, Fla. - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen are taking the tight American Le Mans GTC points battle to the streets of Baltimore for this weekend's Grand Prix of Baltimore to run Aug. 30-31.  

MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL) and Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) trail in the GTC point standings by just four, heading into this weekend's street race.  The Baltimore circuit traverses around Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles, and through the scenic Inner Harbor.  The 2.02-mile, 12-turn temporary Baltimore street circuit is always action packed for the GTC Porsche competitors.

"Even though the championship is close, we will be going to Baltimore fighting for the win, just as we always do." MacNeil said. "I like the Baltimore track, except for the chicane before the railroad tracks, I loved getting air born over them! Like all street courses, traffic and the close confines are always a worry.  But Jereon and I have run many street courses and are able to focus on speed and handling of the WeatherTech Porsche. We will have to be entirely on our game this weekend if we want to win, last year we were so close with a second place finish."

Bleekemolen has a storied history at Baltimore.

"With the tight points battle and competition level in GTC, we can't afford to be careful," Bleekemolen said. "Every point counts, so we'll go out and push hard for it. I love street circuits in general. There is no room for error and that makes the challenge much higher. To win this weekend everything needs to be perfect, qualifying, race start, strategy and a good pace. That will be the key. I only raced at Baltimore in 2011, but loved it. It is a great event and a great track. I won with pole and fastest lap, so the memories are all good!"

The pole and the race win for Bleekemolen two years ago are memorable for fans and competitors alike.  In qualifying, the right front wheel of his Black Swan Porsche came off.  He had the presence of mind of get out of the car, put the wheel in the passenger side of the car, return to the pits where the wheel was bolted back on and he went back out and secured the pole position.

"Yes it was very memorable," Bleekemolen explained.  "I was so quick all weekend and just couldn't believe that my wheel came off in qualifying. I didn't want to give up. I had to get out and put the wheel back in the car quickly and return to the pits. It was so cool that I was able to put it on pole afterwards."

Alex Job, team owner, has the team in the thick of GTC championship.

"Just as we thought at the beginning of the season, the GTC competition is strong." Job said. "Cooper and Jeroen are second in the points and we have seen some adversity this year, most notably the crash with Risi at Lime Rock. With that poor finish we are still second in points. The pair are always tough at street courses and we will be ready for this weekend."

The American Le Mans Series will travel to Maryland for the Grand Prix of Baltimore to run Aug. 30-31. The race will be televised on ABC Sept. 1 at 12:00 p.m. EDT on ABC.  Live streaming of the race can be viewed on ESPN3.com, Aug. 31 at 3:30 pm EDT with live qualifying streaming Aug. 30 at 4:20 pm EDT on ESPN 3.com.

Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 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. 

WeatherTech Racing 2013 ALMS GTC Results  

Event

Drivers

Qualify

Finish

Sebring

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

Von Moltke

2

1

Long Beach

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

1

4

Laguna Seca

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

1

3

Lime Rock

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

2

5

Mosport

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

1

1

Road America

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

6

2

FloorLiner MacNeil Automotive, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, has long been recognized by the discerning automotive enthusiast as a supplier of accessories of unparalleled quality. In addition to the WeatherTech brand, the company supplies products to many automobile manufacturers (OEM) as an original equipment supplier. In fact, MacNeil currently supplies accessories to all four German manufacturers of luxury automobiles as well as a host of other automobile manufacturers worldwide! More information can be viewed at www.weathertech.com.

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For more information about AJR, visit www.alexjobracing.com, or visit our fan page on Facebook by searching WeatherTech Racing.