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IMSA Long Beach

Marciello to race Long Beach in WeatherTech Mercedes

WeatherTech Racing has revealed that Raffaele Marciello will be Cooper MacNeil’s co-driver in this weekend’s round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Long Beach.

Podium: Race winner #999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing Mercedes AMG GT3: Raffaele Marciello

As the team switches from its Porsche 911 GT3 R to tackle the GTD Pro class for the remainder of the season with a Mercedes AMG GT3, the team has called up Marciello who won the Blancpain GT Series in 2018 and the FIA GT World Cup in ’19.

It will be the Swiss driver’s first visit to the 11-turn 1.968-mile Long Beach classic, but WeatherTech Racing is hoping to repeat the success it achieved at this venue in the GTD pro-am class in 2017, also in a Mercedes.

“I am looking forward to driving with Raffaele this weekend,” said MacNeil. “He brings a lot of experience behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 car. Although it’s his first visit to Long Beach he’s a pro and will get up to speed quickly.

“Long Beach is a historic race. It’s the longest running street race in America. There is a lot of history from Formula 1 to IndyCar as well as IMSA. We made a little bit of that history in 2017 when we won in the Mercedes, and we are looking to add to that story this weekend.”

Marciello commented: “I know the Long Beach circuit from iRacing and have done quite a bit of laps on the simulator as well. I am looking forward to driving it for real this weekend.

“I have one start in IMSA competition at the Rolex 24 and one other race at Lime Rock. I have seen Cooper drive and others have said good things about his pace.

“The team had a great podium finish at Sebring; I hope we can have another good run at Long Beach this weekend.”

After the two longest races on the IMSA calendar, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the DPi, GTD Pro and GTD teams will now compete in 100-minute sprint, the shortest event on their schedule along with June’s round at Belle Isle, Detroit.

There are 27 cars currently on the entrylist for the Saturday race – six DPi entries, six GTD Pro and 15 GTD.

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