09-21-13

MacNeil and Bleekemolen Finish Sixth at COTA in GTC

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AUSTIN, Texas, - Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen soldiered on to finish sixth in today's running of the American Le Mans Series GTC race at the Circuit of the America's (COTA).

MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) had the wheel of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche for the start of the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race. Just 15 laps into the 83 lap event, MacNeil radioed that he was experience some problems with the power of the Porsche. The team had the University of Colorado at Boulder junior paging through the electronic dash to help diagnose the issue. Soldering on he turned the car over to teammate Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) in fourth position on lap 31. The team changed out the engine data card to download the information and sent the Dutchman back into the race. Bleekemolen was able to maintain competitive lap times to keep the black and white Porsche just one lap down to the GTC field. The bright spot on the day was that the No. 45 Flying Lizard car also had issues, which means that MacNeil and Bleekemolen still lead the GTC championship by a slim four points heading to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) next month.

"The start was nice and clean," MacNeil said. "I was in a couple of good battles early in the race and everyone was behaving. We had a problem a few laps into the race. I started to get gearbox temperature warnings, which I had to reset on the telemetry screen. That affected my concentration a little. On top of that I started to get a low speed stutter in the motor in second gear corners. As my stint went on the performance progressively got worse. It is a good thing that the 45 didn't have a good day either. We are still leading the championship, which is huge and we will take the fight to VIR where we won last year."

Bleekmolen had a good car and new it could have been a winning day.

"It is unbelievable," Bleekemolen said. "The result was perfect for us today with the problems that we had. The handling of the car was absolutely incredible around here this afternoon. In the corners I was so quick compared to the competition, so we would have had a great shot at winning. Winning would have brought us nearly half of the title. It is a big shame. The team did nothing wrong, it was just an unfortunate situation."

Alex Job, team owner, still has his team in the GTC championship hunt.

"What a day," Job said. "We had problems 15 laps into the race. There was constant radio chatter between the pits and drivers making sure we had all of the information to diagnose the problem. We tried a few fast fixes to keep the car on the track that really didn't work. So we decided to stay out and keep turning laps as fast as we could. It turned out that the 45 car was having problems as well and what started as a bad day turned into a pretty good one. I don't think I have ever been this happy to finish sixth."

The television broadcast from COTA will air Sept. 22 at 1:00 pm EDT on ESPN 2, live streaming can be viewed Sept. 21 starting at 3:45 pm EDT on ESPN 3.com.

The American Le Mans Series will travel to Virginia International Raceway for the Oak Tree Grand Prix Oct. 3-5.

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

Baltimore

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

1

2

Circuit of the America's

MacNeil

Bleekemolen

3

6


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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.