MacNeil, Keen, Davis and van Gisbergen fought hard
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - WeatherTech Racing finished second in the ultra-competitive 19 car GTD Class today at the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series 53rd running of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona.
The driving team of Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.), Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Shane van Gisbergen (Auckland, New Zealand) and Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.) together with the Alex Job Racing team ran a near flawless race. A slight brake issue, just the addition of some fluid, with about two hours to go cost the team valuable track position to the dominating Viper. After 24 hours of running the margin to the winning Viper was a mere seven seconds. As well as the WeatherTech Racing team executed all race, the Viper was just too fast to catch and overtake at the checkered flag.
"Our car was a little wounded at the end," van Gisbergen said. "We lost the splitter and had that very small brake issue which cost us track position and that was really the margin. It is tough to be second. The Viper was so much faster. We were able to challenge it at times, but just couldn't match the pace. I am over the moon with the second place finish. It was a great team effort by everyone."
MacNeil likes the start to the season.
"It was close right to the end," MacNeil said. "It is tough to finish second in a 24 hour race. My best finish here, so far, is a fifth, so not a bad 24 at all. Alex Job Racing prepared a great WeatherTech Porsche and provided us with flawless stops and strategy all race. It hurts finishing second to a car that was untouchable all weekend. I am looking forward to Sebring where we have done so well in the past. A good start to the season."
Keen wanted the win, but will take second and the points.
"I think everyone in the GTD field knew they didn't have anything for those Vipers," Keen said. "Since the first laps at the Roar test we had a great WeatherTech Porsche. Cooper, Shane and Andrew were really solid in the car all day. We just didn't have the speed in the car. It is tough to be second on the Daytona podium. We wanted to win so badly. This gives us a great start to the season with a lot of points."
Davis knows how tough Daytona is to finish, let alone win.
"Ultimately I am very pleased," Davis said. "To be on the podium at Daytona is a huge accomplishment. This finish is one better than my previous best when Leh and I came third. I am so proud of the WeatherTech and Alex Job Racing crew. So much has to go your way to finish this race, let alone be on the lead lap within seven seconds of the winner. I want to thank WeatherTech, Cooper, Leh, Shane, Alex Job and the whole crew. We have our heads high with a great point's day for the championship, which is the goal."
Alex Job had the team in the right position this afternoon.
"We just couldn't run with the Viper on the oval," Job said. "We led the race a half dozen times and each of those times they would catch us and just motor by. Cooper, Leh, Andrew and Shane really drove a great race. They put in a winning effort, but you just can't compete with their speed. You are a second place car. It is a good start to the season and we are headed to Sebring where we have won nine times."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Series will travel to Sebring, Florida, March 18-21 for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring powered by Fresh from Florida.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458, Aston Martin, BMW Z4, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.
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 five championships (GTC 2013, 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.