TAVARES, FLA. (July 3, 2012) - Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen are taking their No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche and the GTC drivers' points lead into the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Northeast Grand Prix running at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park on Sat. July 7.
Lime Rock Park is the shortest track on the schedule, at just 1.5-miles and seven turns. For MacNeil and Keen, running in GTC the lap time gap to the P1 cars could be as much as 10-seconds, making it a busy weekend behind the wheel.
MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) sits first in GTC points. Teammate Keen (Charleston, SC) has missed a race due to conflicting schedules. The duo has two podium finishes at Sebring and Long Beach so far this season. Both drivers have kept in driving shape during the Le Mans break, Keen competing in the GRAND-Am Series and MacNeil testing and racing in SCCA.
"To stay sharp over this long break, I have been running SCCA races, testing at the Autobahn Country Club, and running laps at Lime Rock on the simulator," MacNeil said. "We also tested at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) in the Porsche, which went very well. I have raced at Lime Rock three times and actually my first ever GRAND-AM GS race was at Lime Rock. I raced in the Ferrari Challenge there last year and was on the podium both races, one of which I had a flat tire. Lime Rock is such a short track that we'll have to be watching our mirrors constantly. The goal for this weekend is to keep the points lead and hopefully get our first win."
Keen is ready to get back into the swing of ALMS racing.
"Lime Rock is always extremely busy with traffic that it's easy to get involved with another car," Keen said. "The key is to stay safe. That's more important than being aggressive. Lime Rock will bite you if you are too aggressive. It is very important to get a good run though Turn Seven as it leads onto the straight into Turn One. That's really the only place to make a nice clean pass. A lot of time can be had with a nice balance through the first three corners as well. Track position is extremely important as it is difficult to pass, so a good strategy and smart driving in the car will win the race. The name of the game is to keep the WeatherTech AJR Porsche clean and up front. If we do that we will have a great weekend.
It has been a while since I have been in the No. 22 and I can't wait to get back in the seat. I stopped by Chicago after the Road America GRAND-AM race and hung out with Cooper. I also toured the WeatherTech R&D facility. It was truly impressive!"
Alex Job, team owner, is ready to keep the momentum going with the WeatherTech Porsche team.
"Cooper and Leh have been a formidable pair in the GTC Class so far this season," Job said. "We have two podium finishes in the first three races, and the guys are hungry for that break-through win. Lime Rock is a tough track, even tougher when you are running in the GTC class with P1, P2, PC and GT cars taking chances to get by you at every turn. Cooper and Leh have lots of time in races like this, so I really like our chances going into this weekend. Both have stayed sharp during the break and are ready to go."