WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Toni Vilander (Kankaanpää, Finland) are ready for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship return to racing this weekend for the WeatherTech 240 to run at Daytona International Speedway July 4.
The WeatherTech Championship teams have been on hiatus since the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona took the checkered flag on January 26. During that time MacNeil and Vilander have been staying safe and keeping sharp doing laps their racing simulators.
The drivers will be looking to improve on their seventh-place finish at The World Center of Racing four months ago. Getting the Scuderia Corsa prepared No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 Evo back on track and on the podium will be the goal for this weekend.
“Finally. We will get back to racing,” MacNeil said. “It has been a long four months and I am looking forward to getting back to competition. I took delivery of a simulator and have been keeping my competitive edge sharp doing some laps on the upcoming tracks. Also took the opportunity to log air-time toward my helicopter license. We were able to get the Ferrari Challenge car out at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca a couple of weeks ago to turn some laps, so that will help for this weekend.
“We didn’t have the greatest run at the Rolex, but we now have 24 hours of data on the new Ferrari Evo package to draw from to make the car better for this weekend. It will be a short and compact weekend, but we are ready. IMSA has a great plan in place to keep everyone safe, checking temperatures, creating distance in the garage, all necessary things so we can get back to the schedule and continue on with the racing season.”
“It’s been a super strange and awkward time without any racing,” Vilander said. “I think the last time I had such a break was in the late 80s when I was karting. It was nice to spend time with the family. In Finland, things were quite calm, we didn’t have to wear masks. There were restrictions, but life was pretty normal. Seeing the situation here in Florida, things are quite serious. The airplane was empty on my way here, have to wear a mask everywhere, so very different. IMSA has done a great job with all of their assistance with travel controls.
“We raced the new EVO kit on our WeatherTech Ferrari at the Rolex. We had speed at the Roar and in practice. When qualifying came and the race, our competitors found a lot of speed. There has been a lot of data review since the 24. We will make some changes to try and get up to speed quickly as there isn’t much practice time. I am looking forward to getting back in the car. It will take a few laps to get back into the flow. I miss the team and Cooper and I am ready to get back to work.”
The action from Florida for the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona will start at 6:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 3 with a single practice for all classes. The green flag will drop on the 2 hours and 40-minute race at 6:05 p.m. on July 4.
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing