WeatherTech Racing’s three entries are ready for the 60th running of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona to run Jan. 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway.
Two of the three WeatherTech Racing entries had their results from the qualifying race on Sunday adjusted due to tire pressures being too low in post-race technical inspection. The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 were assessed the equivalent of drive-through penalties that will have them lining up in fourth for the 79 and fifth for the 97 on the GTD Pro grid. The No. 15 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 will now start third on Saturday for the 1:40 p.m. ET start.
Cooper MacNeil who will drive both the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche and the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes is looking forward to a very competitive race.
“The post qualifying race penalties are unfortunate but do not dampen the effort and the quality of the run all three cars had in the race,” MacNeil said. “The 24 hour is going to be fast and furious from the drop of the green flag. There are so many good GTD Pro and GTD cars that can win this race. In addition, some of the best GT drivers in the world will be piloting them. This also very well could be the best GT field in the races 60-year history. We will need to be clean and fast as drivers, have perfect pit stops, get to Sunday morning, and start working our strategy. We need to keep the cars clean and stay out of the garage if we want to win this race .”
Patrick Assenheimer, who is sharing the No. 15 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Austin Cindric and Dirk Müller is a first time Rolex 24 racer and will start third on Saturday afternoon.
“Our WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG car is very competitive,” Assenheimer said. “Let’s wait until it really counts. It will be cold, but I don’t think that is a bad thing for our Mercedes-AMG car. We have good pace on the driver’s side. Austin showed the speed of the car in the 100-minute race and the team did a great job on the pit stop.
“The track is great. The first time you go up on the banking is amazing! It is a very different feeling. This is the first time for me driving here at Daytona in the USA and with DPi cars on the track. A lot of drivers hate it with the faster cars coming from the back. For me it is ok. I am used to it, I’ve driven for six years on the Nordschleife in a slow car, so I am used to looking in the mirrors. We have a good spotter so that helps a lot. I am having a great time.”
In the No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 car is MacNeil, Maro Engel, Jules Gounon, and Daniel Juncadella. The seasoned road racers are ready for the challenge of the Rolex 24.
“Everything went pretty smooth for us during the Roar,” Juncadella said. “It was the first time for Proton working with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and they are doing great. We had really good preparation with minimal issues. We are very prepared for the race. I can’t wait to start the weekend. It is a tough field. We have the tools to give everyone a good run for their money.”
WeatherTech Racing Rolex 24 driver lineup:
No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R will be Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill), Julien Andlauer (France), Matteo Cairoli (Italy), and Alessio Picariello (Belgium)
No. 97 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill), Maro Engel (Germany), Jules Gounon (France), and Daniel Juncadella (Spain)
No. 15 WeatherTech Racing with Mercedes of Billings (Montana) Mercedes-AMG GT3 Dirk Müller (Germany), Patrick Assenheimer (Germany), and Austin Cindric (Mooresville, N.C.)
The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona will take the green flag at 1:40 p.m. ET, Saturday, January 29.
Source. Kyle Chura