WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) and Raffaele Marciello (Switzerland) finished fifth in GTD Pro in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
MacNeil had the start for the 100-minute sprint race through the concrete jungle of Long Beach behind the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support. Putting in a solid stint he turned the car over to Marciello with an hour remaining. The Swiss Mercedes Factory Driver had to navigate two caution periods and restarts on the track that he is competing on for the first time. Running in fourth with just five minutes to go he was heading into the tricky Hairpin Turn when he got into the side of the No. 16 Porsche. The result was “accident responsibility” and he had to do a drive through penalty with just five minutes to go giving up just one position in GTD Pro.
“It was a good hard race,” MacNeil said. “Raffaele did a good job. He drove hard and made up some positions. We were running P4 at the end and, unfortunately, the GTD Porsche was racing us hard. Raffaele saw an opportunity to pass, and he just got into the side of him and had to serve a penalty that put us to P5. The WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG is one piece, and we will go onto WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in three weeks.”
“The race was quite messy,” Marciello said. “We got unlucky with our track position on the pass around under one of the yellows. We lost four or five positions on the track to GTD cars. In a longer race it is possible to recover, but in a sprint race like this and on a tight track it is very difficult. At one point I saw an opening and had contact and then the penalty, and we came P5.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship will stay on the West Coast and travel to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for round four, April 29 – May 1.
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing