As first revealed by Sportscar365 last month, Cooper MacNeil and WeatherTech will make the move to Scuderia Corsa next year, replacing newly crowned two-time GT Daytona class champion Christina Nielsen in the team’s Ferrari 488 GT3.
MacNeil will team up with Alessandro Balzan for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, in what’s expected to continue as a single-car GTD entry for the California-based squad.
The two-time ALMS GTC champion is no stranger to the Giacomo Mattioli-led operation, having driven for them in Ferrari Challenge, as well as also in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, in a GTE-Am spec Ferrari (pictured above).
It will mark the third different team and car MacNeil has driven for in the last three years, following stints with Alex Job Racing, and most recently, Riley Motorsports.
“We raced this year with Scuderia Corsa at Le Mans and finished third co-driving with Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell,” MacNeil said.
“I also race the full season of Ferrari Challenge with them and am in the hunt for the championship with two races left. It was a natural for us to transition into the Ferrari with our experience with the brand this season.
“I am looking forward to driving with Alessandro and we will be looking to equal the success the team had this year in IMSA and finish a couple places better at Le Mans too.”
Balzan returns to the team confident that the success of the past two seasons can be replicated alongside MacNeil.
“I am confident it is going to be another great IMSA WeatherTech season with Cooper in 2018,” Balzan said.
“He shows to be pretty comfortable behind the wheel of the Ferrari 488, with his great performance this year during the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Championship and scoring his first podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Scuderia Corsa 488 GTE.
“Cooper’s solid results are a strong basis to have a successful 2018 season and I can’t wait for Daytona.”
Nielsen’s Future Uncertain
Nielsen, who has teamed with Balzan for back-to-back GTD titles, faces an uncertain future in the WeatherTech Championship.
The 25-year-old Dane, who has been a regular front-runner in the class since her full-season debut in 2015, told Sportscar365 that she currently has no firm deal in place to return next year.
She finished runner-up in the championship in 2015 with TRG prior to making the move to Scuderia Corsa last year.