WeatherTech Racing finishes fifth in LMGTEPRO at Le Mans

Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen take fifth in LMGTEPRO.

WeatherTech Racing finishes fifth in LMGTEPRO at Le Mans

Le Mans, France - WeatherTech Racing finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans fifth in the ultra-competitive LMGTEPRO category today.

After a tough start to their Le Mans weekend, which included losing a teammate and their primary car, and then moving up to the LMGTEPRO category filled with factory entries, and then choosing to run the full 24 hours with just two drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) crossed the finish line in fifth.

ProSpeed Competition rebuilt an entire car in less than 24 hours to provide a great Porsche RSR for the duo to tackle the twice around the clock race. Except for two tire punctures while Bleekemolen was at the wheel, the car never missed a moment of track time. As a result of having to limp the car around each time from the beginning of the Mulsanne Straight, more than four miles, and costing several laps, the two drivers drove triple stints throughout the night with MacNeil closing bringing the WeatherTech Racing Porsche to the line with a final effort to get a top five finish. Finishing ahead of several factory entries the pair that won the American Le Mans Series GTC Championship in 2013 are pleased with the effort and the result.

#79 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997): Cooper MacNeil, Jeroen Bleekemolen leads a group of cars during a safety
#79 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997): Cooper MacNeil, Jeroen Bleekemolen leads a group of cars during a safety

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

"The car ran flawlessly the entire race," MacNeil said. "The ProSpeed guys did a great job to rebuild the car and it was just as good, maybe better, than the primary car. They didn't sleep for two days. A top five in the LMGTEPRO Class is a great result from where we started the weekend. We miss Bret, but I know he shares in our excitement. The car doesn't have a scratch on it from contact or offs. We kept it clean and on the track. I got back in at the end and had to push because I didn't know where the Aston Martin was and it was our goal to finish in the top five or better."

"We had nothing but support from everyone in the paddock for Jeroen and myself to take on the race with just the two of us" he continued. "Our American racing friends all helped us this weekend. We got a ton of ice from Pratt & Miller to keep us cool and Porsche North America and Dempsey Racing gave us use of their medical services if we needed them. Jereon and I were well taken care of by the ProSpeed physio team and we were always ready to get back in the car. It was a challenge, but I think I got over 1,100 miles of Le Mans laps under my belt this weekend. That will pay off when I come back next year."

For Bleekemolen it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to do Le Mans with two drivers.

"That was crazy," Bleekemolen said. "I am not sure if I would do it again. It is very cool and something to be proud of for sure. The car was just finished before the race started and it crossed the line without and issues at all. We had no real problems and Cooper just did a great job. He brought it home for us and he drove every time he was scheduled. He is the Silver driver with the most laps on the weekend. I did my 14 hour maximum drive time, over 1,500 miles of racing. We did what we set out to do. We were going to run our own race, keep the car safe and run consistent lap times. Cooper did a great job and never had an issue in traffic and never put a wheel off. After the beginning to the weekend we had Bret along with us in our hearts and we brought it home. A great result to get fifth in the pro division."

WeatherTech Racing

shares
comments
Le Mans Live: Non-stop text, photo, and video updates

Previous article

Le Mans Live: Non-stop text, photo, and video updates

Next article

Young Driver AMR wins at Le Mans

Young Driver AMR wins at Le Mans
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021