With Cooper MacNeil declared unfit by the onsite FIA Doctor after falling ill overnight, the No. 89 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR has been approved by the ACO to race in GTE-Am with only the duo of Leh Keen and Marc Miller in today’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Although WeatherTech reserve driver Gunnar Jeannette had turned laps for the Proton-run team during the Test Day and was ready to step in for MacNeil, Jeannette had not completed his mandatory five laps in night qualifying and was not allowed to start.
“It is tough not going to have Cooper with us in the car,” Miller said. “It is not as much the drive time you have to manage, but the rest time you can get.
“I will have another one or two more stints and all of the stints will be longer in the car. We are still looking for a result.”
It marks the second time in three years at Le Mans where MacNeil has been part of a team facing a similar situation.
In 2014, MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen completed the race as a pair in Prospeed Competition’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR after Bret Curtis sustained a concussion following an accident in qualifying.
Promoted to the GTE-Pro class as a result, MacNeil and Bleekemolen finished fifth.
“I am trying to comprehend what it is going to be like doing Le Mans with two drivers,” Keen said. “Cooper and Jeroen did it two years ago. It can be done.
“We are still running in the GTE-Am category so we still have a chance to do well.”
James Newbold contributed to this report