LEXINGTON, OHIO, (Aug. 4, 2012) – Alex Job Racing’s (AJR) Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen drove the No. 22 Weather Tech Racing AJR Porsche to a fourth-place finish in today’s running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. However, at the end of the race it was deemed that the GTC Class winning No. 11 Porsche violated IMSA rules by having one driver spend too much time in the car resulting in their disqualification, awarding the last podium position to MacNeil and Keen.
MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL) had the wheel for the start of the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race at the natural terrain 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit. MacNeil had a strong start to the race driving the white and black WeatherTech Porsche to as high as third. The heat played havoc with the set-up of the car as the team was chasing the handling even during the race. So much so they pitted MacNeil under caution to make an early front sway bar adjustment, uncommon for the team from Florida.
Keen (Charleston, SC) took over on lap 41 and couldn’t drive up to the leaders in the GTC category. A bright spot on the day was the team finished ahead of the 34 car, their closest pursuers in the GTC championship.
“Pretty tough weekend all around,” Keen said. “The AJR guys worked real hard. We made a lot of changes on the WeatherTech Porsche. In the end we had a decent car, but not as good as the guys up front. We gained points on the 34 car that is key to Cooper’s championship run. That is the positive on the day. Cooper and I have finished on the podium in every race so far. We will take this one as a gift to keep that streak going.”
MacNeil still has a healthy lead in the GTC points standings.
“We kind of missed the set-up a little this weekend,” MacNeil said. “We just couldn’t get that small adjustment in there to get the car exactly like we needed it this weekend. We couldn’t get the rear-end stable. It always wanted to come around. And then we would transition to under steer We finished ahead of the 34 car which key to our championship run.
Team owner, Alex Job, had his team chasing the track all weekend.
“For some reason we couldn’t get Leh and Cooper comfortable with the car this weekend,” Job said. “That is unusual for us. They provide good feedback, and we need to come up with the combination of set-up to help them go fast. We weren’t way out of the Ball Park. We just needed that extra tweak to be able to take some time out of the really fast guys in the category. On the plus side we maintain a healthy points lead for Cooper, which is good, even though we were a little off this weekend.”
The team will travel to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Road America Road Race Showcase to be run Aug. 16-18.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in ALMS history with 42 wins. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 102 podium finishes. The team has won three championships (GT in 2002, 2003 and 2004) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts eight Sebring 12-hour victories.
The ALMS GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche’s one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.