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Continental Tire IMSA Driver Spotlight: Cooper MacNeil

This week’s Continental Tire IMSA Driver Spotlight, Cooper MacNeil…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

Driver Profile: Cooper MacNeil
Driver, No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America
Follow: @CooperMacNeil 

It’s a pretty tight battle for the GTD championship right now with a variety of manufacturers in the mix. How tough is the competition in GTD and what do you need to do to win the championship?

“IMSA has done a decent job leveling the playing field in GTD over the past year and a half. The tight competition we have seen recently is a result of this, which is obviously a good thing. We have had some bumper-to-bumper racing this year with cars of different makes which is exciting for the fans. Last year, we had eight top five finishes and came third in the championship. This year, we will need to do the same in order to win the championship, only with a few more podium finishes.”

You have Watkins Glen coming up. Do you prepare differently for a 6+ hour race than you do for the standard race?

“My preparation for a six-hour race is the same as any other race, stay healthy and fit by the means of high altitude training in Colorado. Our strategy is really the only thing that varies with the race distance and the addition of our third driver Andrew Davis.”

Take us for a lap around The Glen. What are some of the challenges, where are the good places to pass, etc.?

“I’ve only raced at Watkins Glen once, last year in the six hours, but I remember it being one hell of a track, almost like a roller coaster ride. There is a lot of elevation change and fast corners, which is always really exciting.

“Turn One is a good place to pass because of how much racing room we have on the entry and especially the exit. The climb up the hill through the esses will be flat in our Porsche this year, which will be really fun. The Glen happens to be Leh’s (Keen, co-driver) favorite track and he’s always been really fast there so I’m looking forward to the race weekend. Also, it will be nice to have Andrew back with us as he is really solid.”

Your team confirmed an order of two Porsche 911 GT3 R cars looking ahead to next year. What are your expectations of the new car, new class, what would you like to see for 2016?

“We will get the first two brand new GT3 R’s Porsche is making which is pretty exciting. I have very high expectations for the car and I think it will live up to the Porsche standard. A new era of sports car racing is coming here starting next year with the GT3 platform. The cars will be safer, easier to drive, and an all-around riot. I’m excited!”

What are some of your hobbies away from the track?

“Away from the track, I’m usually in school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, so I spend a lot of time in the mountains hiking, mountain biking, and shooting. Also, GO BLACKHAWKS!”

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