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Continental Tire IMSA Spotlight: Cooper MacNeil
- Updated: April 12, 2017
IMSA Spotlight: Cooper MacNeil
Driver: No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
How gratifying is it to get to victory lane once again and to do it in the WeatherTech Championship?
“It’s always nice to be back on the top step of the podium especially when it had been a while. On top of it, to get the WeatherTech car its maiden win in the WeatherTech Championship is a fantastic feeling.
“We had some bad luck at Daytona and some even worse luck at Sebring so I’m thrilled we finally had some good luck on our side!”
Was the limited track time a challenge for you and the team with a car that was new to the circuit?
“Very challenging. Limited track time is always challenging but the nature of a street course makes it even that much more difficult.
“Before qualifying, I had roughly 25 minutes of practice under my belt due to the red flags and a couple issues with the car.
“Qualifying wasn’t too good and we decided to change all four tires and start dead last with fresh rubber.”
Mercedes-AMG has won back to back races and you and your teammates finished 1-2 at Long Beach. Has the start to your relationship with the brand exceeded your expectations?
“We knew from the beginning that running with Mercedes would yield strong results. Their track record over the past few years in motorsports has been outstanding.
“They have dominated in Formula One and have won many big endurance races with their GT3 car as well. We had high expectations but also didn’t want to take anything for granted.
“It takes hard work and dedication from both the manufacture and the team in order to have a successful racing campaign. I am quite happy with how the relationship has evolved over these short few months and am thrilled to see what the future brings us.”
How is the chemistry coming along with your co-driver Gunnar Jeannette?
“Gunnar and I have been driving together for a few years now and have been friends for even longer than that. We get along great and have strong chemistry together.”
If you could place an IMSA street course event in any major city in the U.S. that doesn’t currently host a race, which would you choose and why?
“Personally, I would love to see a street course race in the city of Chicago. Sure, I am a bit biased because I’m from Chicago but I think a race along Lake Shore Drive then down to Lower Wacker and back out onto Lake Michigan would be so cool.
“It made for a great police-chase setting in The Dark Knight!”