WeatherTech Racing to Start Final ALMS Petit Le Mans Second in GTC
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct.18, 2013) - Cooper MacNeil, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Sebastian Bleekemolen will start the last running of Petit Le Mans under the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) banner second on the GTC grid for tomorrow's 11:30 a.m. ET start.
The team has spent the week fine tuning the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche for the final race of the season. MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) lead the GTC points standings by 13-points. The scenario for tomorrow's 1,000-mile or 10-hour race, whichever comes first, is simple, finish fifth or better and they are GTC Class champions.
In qualifying Jereon Bleekemolen had the wheel of the WeatherTech Porsche. The Dutchman posted a time of 1:24.433 good for a front row starting position in second.
"I missed the peak of the tire, which was unfortunate, because I was in traffic in qualifying," Bleekemolen said. "It was really unnecessary. There are only eight cars in the class and you shouldn't have traffic in qualifying. We had the car to get the pole. I proved on the last lap when the tire had lost its peak that we were able to set a time good for second. I drove my heart out to get the pole, but didn't get it. We just want to win the championship, but we want to win the race as well. The car is absolutely quick and strong. We will have a good car for the race tomorrow. We have a strong team with Cooper and my brother, so we are looking good for the race."
MacNeil didn't have the luxury of a lot laps this week.
"I did about 35-minutes in the car this morning," MacNeil said. "I was getting reacquainted with the track and getting faster every lap. It is tough when everyone has been here the whole week running laps. I was at school and couldn't come out earlier. I felt comfortable in the car. Jeroen, Sebastian and the team did a great job setting up the car. I will get some more time tomorrow morning in the warm-up. Jeroen did a great job in qualifying. We are starting second and we know what we have to do in the race to win the championship - which is the goal."
Sebastian Bleekemonlen (Netherlands) will have to wait his turn tomorrow.
"I did a lot of laps this week," Sebastian Bleekemolen said. "I was able to get really comfortable in the car. We drove in almost every kind of condition, the rain, darkness and in the dry. My pace is good. We have to get Cooper and Jeroen in for two-and-and-hours early to get the drivers points. I am anticipating getting in during the middle of the race. It is great to be out here again. I've won the race once and I hope to do it again tomorrow."
Alex Job, team owner, has the team poised for a good run tomorrow.
"We've had a good week of running," Job said. "Jereon and Sebastian have done a lot of laps and Cooper came in and started right where he left off last year. All three are comfortable with the car and know what is at stake tomorrow. We really hold our fate in our hands and will race that way for 10-hours."
The American Le Mans Series season finale Petit Le Mans television broadcast will air Oct. 19 starting at 11:00 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 2, live streaming can be viewed starting at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN3.com.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won four championships (GTC 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts nine Sebring 12-hour wins.
The ALMS GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche's one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.