Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Kevin Estre (France) will compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge to run at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Oct. 8-9.
Estre and the Proton Competition team tested the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche RSR at the 3.27-mile, 17-turn, natural terrain road course located just over of the North Carolina border in early September. For MacNeil he has had success there, finishing on the podium in 2019 in GTD and that same year he won the SCCA Runoffs T2 Championship at the same track in a Porsche 911.
“I always really like going back to VIR. It’s an amazing track managed by great people.” MacNeil said. “I have won there in a Porsche before so I have great memories with a 911 at VIR. With the downforce the RSR has, it should make the uphill esses through the Oak Tree turn an absolute dream to drive. The added horsepower of the RSR compared to the 911 I ran there in the past will give me a slightly different feel of the track. Kevin and the Proton guys tested there a few weeks ago so we should unload with a pretty good WeatherTech Racing Porsche right away, which will be crucial because this a two-day event with limited practice time.”
“I really like VIR,” MacNeil said. “The last time I won there was in a Porsche, so maybe that is a good sign for us this weekend. When the car is dialed into the track, going through the esses uphill to the Oak Tree turn there’s nothing like it. The added horsepower of the RSR compared to what I’ve run there in the past will give me a slightly different feel of the track. Kevin and the Proton guys tested there a few weeks ago so we should unload with a pretty good WeatherTech Racing Porsche right away, which is good because this a two-day event with limited practice time.”
Estre has experience at the track located just north of Danville, Virginia.
“I’m really pleased to go back to VIR,” Estre said. “I did the IMSA GT race back in 2014. It didn’t go so well, but I really like the track. There is a lot of risk in a fast lap there, but with the good aero of the Porsche 911 RSR it makes it fun and fast for a driver. It is a short weekend, so we need to have error-free practice, good strategy in the race and we can come away with a result.
“We tested there in early September, but it was quite hot. The WeatherTech Porsche ran well, and we went through our program. I think it will be cooler for our race weekend. It was good to get some laps at the track after six-years.”
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing