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24H Le Mans

Vilander, Smith Join MacNeil in WeatherTech Ferrari

Toni Vilander to anchor WeatherTech Racing’s lineup for 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Photo: WeatherTech Racing

Toni Vilander will anchor WeatherTech Racing’s lineup for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the Ferrari factory driver and former GTE-Am class winner Rob Smith confirmed alongside Cooper MacNeil in the team’s Ferrari 488 GTE.

The Scuderia Corsa-run entry, which was confirmed through an automatic invite by IMSA, will compete in the GTE-Am class.

Vilander, who is set for a full-season run alongside MacNeil in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona class this year, will make his GTE-Am debut and 11th start overall in the French endurance classic.

The Finn has two previous GTE-Pro class victories in the race to his credit.

“I am looking forward to going back to Le Mans and having a good run,” Vilander said.

“The GTE-Am class has a lot of cars and good driver lineups. We need to perform really well to be in a position to fight for the win. I have a feeling that with Cooper and Rob, with their experience, we will do well.”

Bronze-rated driver Smith, meanwhile, was part of JMW Motorsport’s class-winning lineup in 2017, also in a Ferrari.

“I am delighted to be joining such an amazing team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Smith said. “The race is the highlight of my 2019 season, and I think we should be very competitive indeed.

“As well as the great run I had the 2017 race, I have participated in three seasons of the European Le Mans Series, being runner up in 2016, and winning the championship in 2017.

“Le Mans has always been the pinnacle of racing for me and I am delighted to be going back in 2019 with WeatherTech Racing.”

A brand-new Ferrari chassis is currently being built in Italy for the effort, which will be run entirely by the Giacomo Mattioli-owned operation for the first time, after previous runs in association with Kessel Racing.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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