WeatherTech Racing has moved its entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the GTE Pro category.
Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander and Jeff Segal will drive the No. 63 Ferrari GTE 488 Evo at the storied endurance event, which has been rescheduled from its traditional June date to September 19-20. MacNeil drove with Segal in 2018 and with Vilander last year, and continues with the Finn in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship this season. Segal has a Le Mans class win in 2016 with Scuderia Corsa, MacNeil has two third-place finishes and Vilander has two wins.
“We made the decision to move our entry to Pro for several reasons,” MacNeil said. “We had a couple of very good bronze drivers we were talking to, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in different countries around the world we didn’t have the 100 percent confidence that everyone could converge at Le Mans in September. We had to make a decision.
“You can’t go to Le Mans with loose ends. We didn’t believe we could put the type of entry together that would be up to our standards. Jeff and Toni are well-known to our team and we have all driven together in the past. With the shortened Le Mans race week timetable, we felt our best chance for success is to go into the race with drivers who have raced together.”
“Obviously this is a strange year and we find ourselves in very strange circumstances – everything feels new and different with adjusted schedules and many different protocols around us, but I’m looking forward to putting all of that aside and getting underway and back to something which will feel “normal,” at least while we are behind the wheel, in September,” said Segal.
“The decision to run in the Pro class was one that I wasn’t really expecting, but the more I think about it, the more I’m looking forward to the opportunity and to this great challenge ahead. Cooper has a history of running in the Pro class under some strange circumstances, and he came away with a really impressive top-five finish in that race. This year we will find ourselves competing against the very best GTE teams and drivers anywhere in the world-the other cars in the class are almost exclusively factory-backed efforts, so we have to be humble and recognize that we are arriving on unfamiliar turf, and with a big gap to close to these other teams.
“With that said, I’m looking forward to sharing the car with Toni and Cooper and seeing what we can do together with the Scuderia Corsa crew-you really never know how this race will unfold, and perhaps if we keep our noses clean and we stay smart and patient, we might be able to surprise some people at the end of the race!”
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTLM and GTD competitors will return to action at Virginia International Raceway, August 25 – 23.