TAVARES, Fla. (Oct.15, 2013) – Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen are heading to the last running of Petit Le Mans under the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) banner as GTC championship point leaders. When the checkered flag ends the race on Saturday evening, the ALMS era will come to an end as well.
MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and season long teammate Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) hold a 13-point lead in the driver’s championship, but also bring a two-point deficit in the team standings heading into the finale at Road Atlanta. Bleekemolen is bringing along his younger brother Sebastian (Netherlands) as the third man in the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche. The trio will try to get back to the winners circle at the 2.5-mile, 12-turn road course located 30 minutes north east of Atlanta.
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“We will be aggressive at Petit this year because of how close we came to winning it last year,” MacNeil said. “We had a mechanical failure with 15 minutes left while running in second place, chasing down first place. Petit is very fast, so we will have to watch our mirrors carefully so we don’t get caught up in faster traffic. We will set the Porsche up so that it is good in the quick corners, because Petit has a lot of them. We are going to Petit to win and seal the championship.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen will be looking for a well-balanced car and team effort come Saturday.
“You will have to take care of the car early on at Petit,” Jeroen Bleekemolen said. “The race will be decided in the last few hours, so it’s important to have a fast car in the end. You need to stay on the lead lap without hurting the car. Then push the last few hours like it is a 20-minute sprint race if you want to win. With the competition we have we need a perfect race. No mistakes on track, in the pit lane and no car issues. The whole track is important, not just one part. You need a good balance both in the high and low speed corners and be able to be fast on the straights too. It’s always going to be a bit of a compromise.”
Sebastian Bleekmolen has two starts at Petit and has been running in the Porsche SuperCup, Renault Clio Cup and the Dutch Supercar Challenge in a Porsche RSR.
“I have run in GTC at Petit twice, winning once and finishing second,” Sebastian Bleekemolen said. “Nowadays you must be aggressive in every endurance race. In the past you’ve had to be careful with the car, but that’s not the issue anymore. You have to push all the time, while being careful in traffic. At Road Atlanta there are a lot of left and right-hand combinations, so the weight change of the car must be very good. And the last two right-handers of the track, over the hill, are really important. You can’t afford to have too much understeer there.”
Alex Job, team owner, would like to leave the last ALMS edition of Petit Le Mans with team and driver’s championship titles.
“We have had a year of ups and downs,” Job said. “Through the issues we still come into Petit leading the points. Last year we had a late race electrical problem as we were about to take the lead with about an hour to go. I hope we have used up all of our bad luck. Sebastian is joining us and brings a lot of Petit experience with him. I am confident in our line-up and am looking forward to a really good final ALMS version of Petit Le Mans.”
The American Le Mans Series season finale Petit Le Mans television broadcast will air Oct. 19 starting at 11:00 a.m. ET on Fox Sports 2, live streaming can be viewed starting at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN3.com with live qualifying on Friday streaming at 1:50 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won four championships (GTC 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts nine Sebring 12-hour wins.
The ALMS GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche’s one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.
WeatherTech Racing 2013 ALMS GTC Results
Event Drivers Qualify Finish
Sebring MacNeil/ Bleekemolen/ Von Moltke 2 1
Long Beach MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 1 4
Laguna Seca MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 1 3
Lime Rock MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 2 5
Mosport MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 1 1
Road America MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 6 2
Baltimore MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 1 2
Circuit of the America’s MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 3 6
VIR MacNeil/ Bleekemolen 2 2
WeatherTech: WeatherTech, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, has long been recognized by the discerning automotive enthusiast as a supplier of accessories of unparalleled quality. In addition to the WeatherTech brand, the company supplies products to many automobile manufacturers (OEM) as an original equipment supplier. In fact, WeatherTech currently supplies accessories to all four German manufacturers of luxury automobiles as well as a host of other automobile manufacturers worldwide! More information can be viewed at www.weathertech.com.
From: Kyle Chura/ Alex Job Racing – firstname.lastname@example.org