Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis drove the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche to an eighth place finish in today’s abbreviated TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season finale Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Keen (Charleston, S.C.) had the wheel of the white and black Porsche for the start of the 10-hour sports car classic. Rain was the story of the race. Persistent showers blanketed the area all day contributing to several yellow periods and a red just past the five hour mark. MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) was second in the car then Davis (Atlanta). The trio cycled through the GTD field as teams managed the elements and six caution periods leading up to the red flag. Keen had the controls when the red flag stopped the race at 4:31 p.m. ET, with the WeatherTech team in third position. The race restarted one-hour-and-five-minutes later with Keen still at the wheel still in third. The team began to strategize for the full race distance, putting Davis in four laps after the restart and have Keen finish the race. Then, abruptly at 7:01 p.m., under yellow, the race was checkered and ended with the team in eighth place.
“That checkered flag was a surprise to everyone,” MacNeil said. “We ran in some tough conditions all day. The car was running great and the three of us didn’t put a wheel wrong. The team had a plan to finish out the race and we set that into action after the red flag period. Andrew got in a few laps after the race restarted and that dropped us from third to eighth. A yellow came out and then the checker. It would have been nice to run the last two hours, I know we would have made it back to the podium.”
Keen was surprised by the ending.
“I am stunned,” Keen said. “When I saw the checker fly early, I was amazed. We saw a lot of bad conditions throughout the race. An hour or two ago we started our strategy to the end of the race. When the red flew, we were on the podium. We made a pit stop after the race restarted and Andrew got in. I think he did a couple of laps under green, than a yellow came out then they ended it. The early finish helps some teams and hurt others. It really hurt us. We ran upfront most of the day. We pitted from third and ended up eighth. I am happy with the way the car and the team ran today, just not pleased with the finish.”
Davis was in the car and was astonished to see the checker.
“I am disappointed with the decision to cut the race short,” Davis said. “Maybe another red flag, but not ending it two hours short. That put us off strategy. We had a plan. I got in to run another stint, then Leh was going to run it to the end. We had a really good WeatherTech Porsche. It ran well. The conditions were treacherous, but the team and the car performed well. We thought we had a shot at the podium. I am disappointed for the team who worked so hard. I really enjoyed my time running with the WeatherTech guys in the long races. I am looking forward to next year.”
Alex Job, team owner, respects a tough decision.
“The conditions all day were very difficult,” Job said. “The rain during the daylight hours is one thing, racing at night in those conditions, especially at this track, is another. We had our strategy set to go the full 10-hours, I don’t like where we ended up in the finishing order. I am ready to kick-off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2016!”
The series will transition in name to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2016. The next official event will be a test at Daytona International Speedway Nov. 17-18. The team will debut the all new Porsche 911 GT3 car at the test.
Source. Kyle Chura/Alex Job Racing
No comments yet.