TAVARES, Fla. - 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.
"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