WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill), Maro Engel (Germany), and Mikael Grenier (Canada) finished fifth in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
MacNeil had the controls of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the opening stints. He had to navigate four full course caution periods before handing the car off to Grenier. With a standard IMSA race distance of 2:45 remaining and the race settling down after the yellow flag periods, the drivers and the WeatherTech Racing/Proton team had the car in fourth position pushing for a podium spot.
At 3:14 p.m. ET the race was red flagged due to lightning in the area. Once the race was restarted with 35 minutes remaining, Engel was allowed to go around the No. 14 Lexus to assume third place due to a penalty. At the restart, hoping for a late race yellow, as the team was just over a lap shy of fuel the German was saving fuel. The yellow didn’t come and he had to pit with 3 minutes remaining. On the final finish sheet the team moved up from sixth to fifth due to a drive time penalty to the BMW.
“Tough race with the timing of the red flag due to the weather,” MacNeil said. “It was the right call by IMSA with all the lightning around. We were on a good strategy to fight for the podium at the end but had that taken away with the red flag. The drivers did the job on the track and the team gave us a good car. The WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana car is in one piece, and we go to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in a week to hopefully stand on the podium there.”
“We tried to fuel save and make it, then dropped a couple of positions,” Engel said. “At the end we had to pit. We were waiting for a yellow that never came. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. If we would have chosen to pit under the yellow, we would probably be standing on the top step of the podium. At that point it seemed to be the right decision. It is a roll of the dice, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.”
“It was crazy at the end of the race,” Grenier said. “We were a bit unlucky that they stopped the race with 35 minutes remaining. Normally it should have been just 25 minutes. We would have been fine on the fuel. It is disappointing the podium was there, but I guess that is racing. Both of my stints were about fuel saving. We were trying to save a stop at the end. I think it was working out. Just a bit unlucky with the weather at the end. It was a pleasure for me to race with the WeatherTech team.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship teams will stay on the road and travel north to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for next weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix to run July 1-3.
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing