MONTEREY, Calif., - Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) won the season finale Pirelli World Challenge Series (PWC) GTA race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this afternoon.
MacNeil started the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche from his third place qualifying position for the 50-minute race. The race witnessed three full course caution periods, the last giving the 29 car field just one lap to sort out the finish. Going into the last lap MacNeil was second. The leader, No. 16 Porsche of Michael Schein, went off in Turn 9 coming out of the Corkscrew and MacNeil was able to go on for the win. Teammate Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) drove the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Porsche to an eighth place finish in the GT Class.
"The whole race was really hectic," MacNeil said. "From the drop of the green flag the entire field is just ruthless. You are flat-out the whole race distance. The last lap was no exception. I didn't have much for Mike Schein. He is driving that car really well. He was able to get out of the corners better than I was, that makes it hard to pass. Fortunately, for me, he was forced into a mistake, he had contact with another car and he went off and I was there to capitalize for the win. I'll take it in the last race of the season."
"Racing in Pirelli World Challenge is kind or like living in the Wild West," Jeannette said. "You know you have to race with your elbows out, because you are going into a gun fight. I think I got hit like four different times on those restarts. We finished where we started in eighth, which is a vast improvement from the Sonoma weekend."
The team also competed in the SprintX race, which went off 70-minutes after the main GT and GTA event. Jeannette had the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Porsche for the first 25-minutes and brought the car to the pits in third. MacNeil got in and left pit lane, after the mandatory 90-second stop and was side-by-side with the GMG Porsche. By the time he came around the next lap he was leading the race. Then, just two laps later, he lost all drive in the car and had to retire from the race.
"Cooper had a really nice run in a race that was pretty chaotic," Alex Job, team owner, said. "He was able to get by the Bentley early on and put himself in a position to take the win. Gunnar had some bad luck with some contact, but still managed to come home in eighth. Not a bad weekend. The SprintX race was disappointing after leading and having a drive failure."
The Pirelli World Challenge series race from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised on the CBS Sports Network Sunday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
For more information on WeatherTech Racing, including race recaps, photos and team gear, please visit the newly designed team site at www.WeatherTechRacing.com. The new team site can now be accessed on any device and is quicker, easier to navigate and features extensive photo galleries, videos, team updates and more.
WeatherTech, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, has long been recognized by the discerning automotive enthusiast as a supplier of accessories of unparalleled quality. Best known for its WeatherTech FloorLiners™ and commitment to all-American manufacturing, the company supplies products to many automobile manufacturers as an original equipment supplier. More information can be viewed at www.weathertech.com.
Alex Job Racing
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 ten Sebring 12-hour wins.