BRASELTON, Ga, (Oct. 20, 2012) - Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen and Dion von Moltke drove the No. 22 WeatherTech GTC Porsche to disappointing fifth place in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season finale Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta.
At this point, in the race the team was swapping the lead in GTC with the No. 30 car on pit stops. Keen was back in for the second to last stint as night fell. On lap 358 he had an issue with the brakes that became a precursor of things to come. On lap 385 he pulled the WeatherTech Porsche to the side of the track with a total loss of engine power. He tried repeatedly to crank the motor, but an electrical issue ended the race just eight laps from the checker.
"Endurance racing is tough," Keen said. "Being with a team the caliber of Alex Job Racing makes it a little easier. You are just not sure what can happen. We almost made it to the end with a good second-place finish. This was one of our best racing weekends of the year. We had the pole and fast race lap. The car had some electrical issues, first with the wire harness on the steering wheel for the pit speed limiter and then the motor picked up a miss, then it stopped altogether. We had second place wrapped up. But we were here to go for the win. Cooper and Dion did a great job all weekend. The team had a great year with Cooper winning the championship, and I was able to close out second place. Our great year ended about 15-minutes too early."
Although it was a tough race today, MacNeil will be crowned GTC champion at the banquet tomorrow evening.
"This one's fall into the it isn't over until it's over category," MacNeil said. "At VIR (Virginia International Raceway) we won it on the last lap, and here we lost it with ten minutes to go. That is racing, and those things happen. The WeatherTech Porsche was up front all race. The Alex Job guys did a great job all weekend. We really had good luck all season, and it just wasn't there for the last ten minutes today. But we have the championship to celebrate tomorrow, and I am glad that Leh was able to finish second in the championship as well."
Von Moltke had a strong day and knows the ups and downs of road racing.
"I haven't had a very long career so far, but that is the roughest moment I have had to date," von Moltke said. "Alex Job is one of the best teams I've driven for, and I had the best teammates. It was a tough ending. We had Leh in the car set to bring it home, and it just ended. The car was great. The plan was to keep it clean and stay on the lead lap, which is what we did. In a ten-hour race you have some difficulties. We were able to come back at the end, and we were in a good position for at least second place. It's a shame. We could have been there on the podium."
Alex Job, team owner, capped a successful season with a great run at Petit Le Mans.
"We had an early issue with the pit lane speed limiter switch," Job said. "We were able to get it fixed under yellow, and the guys did a great job to drive the car back up through the field. About three quarters of the way through Dion and Leh noticed the car was not the same on top-end speed. That hurt us at the end trying to keep pace with the 30 car. When Leh got in the issues with the electronics started to come a little faster until the car just stopped. We missed being on the podium by just one lap, a tough end to a great season. However, we will go to the ALMS banquet tomorrow and celebrate our GTC team championship and Cooper's driver's championship."
Source: Alex Job Racing/