WeatherTech.com’s MacNeil Wins in AJR Porsche at Montreal
Tavares, FL (June 14, 2011) - Alex Job Racing (AJR) had a great run at the Grand Prix of Canada IMSA GT3 Challenge by Yokohama Series race run at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Sunday. Cooper MacNeil driving the No. 20 WeatherTech/AJR Porsche won the race with teammate Michael Schein finishing the race in seventh.
The duo of MacNeil and Schein were also very fast in qualifying. MacNeil from Hinsdale, Illinois, posted a time good for second on the grid with Schein, of Glen Cove, New York, qualifying sixth. On race day the Porsche only competitors had to go to rain tires and a wet set-up.
"The last time I was in Montreal for the GP was five years ago," MacNeil said. "I remember thinking how cool it would be to drive on the track the same weekend as the F1 cars. Earlier this season when I found out we were going there, I was super excited. In qualifying I was P2. I would have gone faster had I gotten a clear track, but a front row position is never bad. We only had one race and it was in the wet. I was confident that Greg Fordahl (AJR engineer) would have the hot set-up for the wet, and he did. I have to thank Alex and all the AJR guys for doing such a great job with the car this weekend. I also want to thank WeatherTech for the support and Randy Pobst for coming with this weekend and coaching me."
Schein had an eventful start to his 30-minute race.
"I really enjoyed the track and being part of the huge F1 weekend," Schein said. "The track was suited towards by strengths with hard braking and fast exiting corners. With the walls being so close you had to take extra precautions to make sure not to make a mistake because the track will definitely bite if you have an off. Being part of the F1 crowd was a very cool experience. Seeing the stands filled and occasionally catching yourself on the Jumbotron was something we don't usually get at our other races.
AJR gave me a great set-up from the start. The car was stable under braking and the rear-end was solid putting down power. Qualifying was going good, I was third with about 10-minutes to go, four- tenths off second and about seven off first. Then I got a call on the radio saying three people went a few tenths quicker than me. I knew I could make up some time so I came into the pits and put on a left front tire. On my last flyer I made a mistake exiting Turn Six and I wasn't able to improve my sixth place starting position.
There was only one race this weekend. It was wet and very slippery. At the start I got up into fifth, but in the second corner I was too aggressive on the throttle and the backend came around. I was surprised how slick it was out there. After the spin I dropped to last (25th) and had to begin working my way back. As I learned the grip level of the track I was able to make back positions pretty quickly. At the checkered flag I had got back into seventh. It was unfortunate that I spun on the first lap because I would have had a great chance at a podium. Despite the spin, it was a very enjoyable race being able to fight back. I am looking forward to Lime Rock, I should be quite competitive there."
Team owner Alex Job is proud of his two young drivers.
"We had a great weekend with the IMSA GT3 Series in Canada," Job said. "The cars were very competitive all weekend. Cooper and Michael both had strong weekends. Cooper showed a lot of poise and speed to get on the front row in the dry in qualifying and then win the race in the rain. He had a really good drive. It was also very exciting watching Michael come from 25th place on the first lap and finishing seventh. We would have had a great battle up front if Michael hadn't spun on the first lap."