Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
MacNeil Wins Round 4 Ferrari Challenge
Cooper MacNeil has certainly been logging the frequent flier miles this season, racing in three separate race series. The learning curve has been quick to come for the 18 year-old racer with his name abuzz in the industry as a driver to watch in 2011. The weekend of May 20-22 was no different, as MacNeil would take his first NA 458 Ferrari Challenge Series win, in round four, at historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Racing for Ferrari stalwarts, Risi Competitzione, MacNeil led several early practice sessions in his No. 20 WeatherTech/Ferrari of Houston entry. MacNeil followed that up with a solid qualifying effort for round three. MacNeil was relegated to the back of the field however, incurring a penalty for accidentally missing the series driver’s meeting. With nothing to lose, MacNeil charged to the front of round three action passing all but four cars in the process. MacNeil’s top-5 could very well be seen disappointing as it marks the first time the young driver has missed podium honors all season.
MacNeil would certainly make up for the error in round four action. For the first time all season, MacNeil would dominate. A quick lap in qualifying put the driver on pole position, with a great advantage to start first for the race. MacNeil made a quick get away and drove a remarkably flawless race to cruise to victory in only his fourth series start.
“Wow, to take victory in such a historic series and at my first trip to Laguna Seca feels amazing. The Ferrari Challenge series is very competitive and the cars are truly amazing to drive, but for sure the WeatherTech floor mats in my car, give me edge out there I’m sure. To be honest, the team worked very hard and we showed everybody today that we’re going to be a threat in the championship for 458 this season,” MacNeil said from atop the podium.
MacNeil finally has some time off from competition before returning to action at the Canadian Grand-Prix in both Ferrari Challenge and GT3 Series action, as part of the Grand Prix Formula One weekend ( June 10 - 12) at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.
-source: promotion driver development