WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Toni Vilander (Kankaanpää, Finland), and Jeff Westphal (San Mateo, Calif.) are ready for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, September 4-6.
This Road Atlanta weekend is a replacement for the Watkins Glen race due to COVID-19 restrictions in New York state. The series will return for the traditional Petit Le Mans event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta October 17.
The last time the Scuderia Corsa-led team raced at the Braselton track back in October, the WeatherTech Racing Ferrari finished fifth. The duo of MacNeil and Vilander were headed for a podium finish at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) two weeks ago when a mechanical issue sidelined the red, white and blue Ferrari 488 Evo ending their day with 40 minutes remaining.
Jeff Westphal will rejoin the team and the trio are looking to get back up on the podium at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn, undulating road course located 45 minutes north of Atlanta.
“Mechanical issues are tough. We need to bounce back strong from our VIR weekend,” MacNeil said. “We have been on the podium at Road Atlanta as well as won there, so we know the track and what it takes to get our car working well. I am coming off of double race wins at the Circuit of the Americas in Ferrari Challenge last weekend, so I want to carry that performance over to this Saturday.”
“Looking forward to Road Atlanta on Saturday,” Vilander said. “It has been a really good track for me. I won Petit Le Mans twice, been close a couple of other times. I really like the short lap, the only time to rest is on the back straight everything else is medium to high-speed corners. It kind of reminds me of the karting days with the really quick turn to turn changes. We have had good speed the last couple of races. The team, our strategy and the pit stops have been working really well. We have been working on the balance with the new Michelin tires and we are getting better with the WeatherTech Ferrari every race. I think we will be fighting for a top finish.”
“Four more hours presents additional challenges for the race over what we are used to at Petit Le Mans which is 10 hours,” Westphal said. “What usually would happen at Road Atlanta is configuring a strategy that balances a 90-minute drive time within a fuel load window of 60 minutes. A shorter race removes 30 minutes of unnecessary drive time and may give us more creativity when it comes to fulfilling all the requirements to have a successful race.”
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing