WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Jeff Segal (Miami, Fla.) are ready to take on the Detroit Belle Isle street course in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear June 1-2.
Segal is stepping into the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari as the team’s regular, full-season driver Alessandro Balzan recovers from a minor medical procedure and is taking the weekend off. Together with the Le Mans break, the team anticipates having Balzan back behind the wheel at Watkins Glen later in June.
The team is coming off of a strong run at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier in the month. The streets of the island circuit located in the middle of the Detroit River measures 2.35-miles and has 14 concrete-lined turns. Qualifying will be at a premium this weekend, as the tight confines of a closed street circuit make passing extremely difficult and risky.
MacNeil, fourth in IMSA GTD points with Balzan, and Segal want to have a strong showing before taking the traditional June break to head off to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“It is tough that Ale won’t drive this weekend but I know that Jeff will do a great job,” MacNeil said. “Jeff has been with us for every race this year and has a great feel for the team, the data, and the car. It will be a good warm-up for him as we also have the official Le Mans practice day on Sunday.
“Detroit is a great street course. It actually has a few passing sections and with a good downforce set-up that the Scuderia Corsa guys have for the WeatherTech Ferrari, we are looking to have a good run this weekend. It will be important to have a good qualifying effort so we don’t get held up behind slower cars at the start of the race like we did in Ohio. It is going to be a long and fun weekend, with the Detroit street race on Saturday and Le Mans practice just hours after on Sunday.”
“I am looking forward to rejoining the team at Detroit this weekend,” Segal said. “The last time I was in the WeatherTech Ferrari was at Daytona. That race didn’t end the way we had hoped, even though it was a strong run. I am not happy with the circumstances that have me in the car this weekend, I wish the best to Alessandro. I have been with the team since Daytona helping with data and coaching. I have been on the podium in Detroit (2013) within sniffing distance of a win. I like the track, I’ve done well there in the past. It will be a quick weekend as Cooper and I will run onto a plane immediately after the race to jump into a similar WeatherTech Ferrari for Le Mans practice day on Sunday. Looking forward to a successful weekend with the team on two different continents this Saturday and Sunday.”
MacNeil and Segal will be joined by Brit Liam Griffin for the 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the wheel of the No. 84 WeatherTech Ferrari with JMW Motorsports. The Le Mans practice day is Sunday, June 3 and the race will take place June 16-17.
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing