LE MANS, France - Cooper MacNeil had a strong first stint behind the wheel of the Larbre Competition No. 70 WeatherTech/Chevrolet Corvette C6.R six hours into the 24 Hours of Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe.

#70 Larbre Compétition Corvette C6.R: Philippe Dumas, Manuel Rodrigues, Cooper MacNeil
#70 Larbre Compétition Corvette C6.R: Philippe Dumas, Manuel Rodrigues, Cooper MacNeil

Photo by: James M. Holland

The 20-year-old from Hinsdale, ILL got behind the wheel of the yellow and black Corvette for the first time in the race at 6:15 p.m. local time. At that moment, rain was blowing up the front straight and the team sent him out on Michelin intermediate tires. Within 25 minutes, Larbre team boss Jack Leconte called the University of Colorado at Boulder college student back to pit lane for a new set of Michelin slicks.

"I thought the decision to go out on intermediates was the right call at the time," MacNeil said. "There was rain sideways going up the track from pit lane. Half of the circuit was wet and half was dry. But, like it has been all week, the weather changed 15 minutes later and I came back in for slicks. We had to pit out of sequence, but staying out would have cost us more time over a stint."

MacNeil was finally able to put in a string of laps in dry conditions.

"I was focused on running a good pace, trying to do consistent lap times," he said. "That was also my first time out on fresh Michelins on a dry track where I could put more than one timed lap together. The WeatherTech Corvette is a lot of fun to drive around this track! I am happy with my progress so far today. We need to be there at the end. I should get back in about midnight."

The 24 hours of Le Mans is being televised on the Speed Channel in segments with next broadcast at 4 p.m. (ET), again at 7:30 p.m. and then back on Sunday at 6 a.m. to take it to the finish with post-race interviews until 9:30 a.m.

WhaterTech Racing