Matt Campbell (Australia), Mathieu Jaminet (France), and Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) won today’s running of the Motul Petit Le Mans race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The win is historic as it is the last race for the GTLM Class cars in IMSA competition.
The six-car IMSA WeatherTech GTLM field gave the capacity crowd at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta a great final event for the class today. The race witnessed 10 caution periods, which had the teams constantly resetting and adjusting their strategies. The Proton Competition team kept both WeatherTech Racing Porsche RSRs on the lead lap and the six drivers kept the cars within striking distance of the lead all day. Neither of the two red, white, and blue cars had to pit out of sequence or make untimely repairs.
At the end it was the 97 WeatherTech Racing Porsche driven by Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Netherlands), and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) that took the lead with just 12 minutes remaining in the race with the 79 close behind. As the duo came to the finish the 79 went by the sister car to take the checker and the win in the final IMSA GTLM race for the class.
Cooper MacNeil, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19
“To get my third Petit Le Mans win, this one in GTLM, is spectacular. Some of the best teams and drivers are out there so to beat them, especially at a race track like this, is amazing. Hats off to the team, the WeatherTech guys and girls, for an amazing job not only all day and all weekend but all season. A one-two for the team to send the RSR off in the last GTLM race is the best way possible. I couldn’t be happier for everybody. It feels great. This one is really nice to get.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19
“It was a little bit crazy, especially with the Corvette. We had pace early on in the race but in the night, we really struggled with the car. They were a little quicker, the sister car and the Corvette. I could come back on the four [the number 4 Corvette]. We were fighting and he had contact with the DPi. It was a great result for the team, one-two. Really pleased with that.”
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19
“A fantastic result, one-two for the team. It is what we dreamed of, and that dream became a reality today. Definitely, a team effort. Both cars worked together the whole race. To get a finish like this, a photo-finish, is fantastic for WeatherTech and a great end to the year and the last ever race for GTLM.”
Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19
“It was a great race, really. We had the pace, but it was very difficult to overtake the BMW and the Corvette. We did it some on track and the last move was in the pits with a different strategy to the Corvette because it was tough on track. I had a nice door banging with Nick again, but I have to say it was on the edge but OK. This race you don’t give up; it is an important one. I am really, really happy for the WeatherTech and Proton team and Porsche too for getting this one. The last one for the 911 RSR.”
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19
“I did the middle part of the race and tried to stay out of trouble. The car was good. One thing was clear, that it was difficult to overtake and that was something we noticed over the time of the race. We decided to do something different with the strategy in order to get in front and that worked out until the end.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19
“It was a tough race. Really proud of the effort on track. We pushed to do the best. It was a strong race for us. It was a single shot and I think we can be proud of that.”
WeatherTech Racing closes the season with three wins – Sebring, Road America, and Road Atlanta. Cooper MacNeil finished third in the IMSA WeatherTech GTLM Drivers Championship, WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition third in GTLM Team Championship and represented all of the points for Porsche to finish second in the IMSA GTLM Manufacturer Championship.
The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will kick-off with the traditional Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 21-23. The following weekend, teams will take the green flag in the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona Jan. 27-30.
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing