ALTON, Va. (Aug. 25, 2019) – Scuderia Corsa earned a third-place finish in the MICHELIN GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship thanks to flawless pit stops and consistent driving.
WeatherTech Racing Driver Cooper MacNeil and Ferrari Factory Driver Toni Vilander earned Scuderia Corsa’s third podium finish of the season. MacNeil jumped three positions at the start of the race, but it was 20-minutes into the two hour and 40-minute race that he made his biggest move. The crew called for MacNeil to stay out while a majority of the GTD field pitted. Under yellow MacNeil took over the second position and maintained second for the remainder of his stint.
Vilander quickly got to work once he entered the race after the driver change. He gained four positions in the opening laps of his stint. Vilander spent the majority of his race chasing down third place before the second and last full-course caution was issued with 18 minutes remaining. The course went green with four laps remaining, Vilander pushed his way past third place and maintained position to the finish.
For MacNeil, the finish was deserved and hard-fought-for this weekend.
“Great way to end a trying weekend,” MacNeil said. “We had a bit of hiccup in qualifying but were able to make up some spots early on as it is so tough to pass in this class. Toni did a great job to make the pass there on the restart to get us into third place. The Scuderia Corsa guys were strong in the pits and that helped with track position too. I am looking forward to going to what we consider a home race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca next where we have been strong in the past.”
For Vilander his competitive drive was satisfied with the ability to fight upfront.
“It feels good to be more competitive,” Vilander said. “In some places, the other cars were a little bit stronger, but we had good pace. We have a good foundation to work from for the last two races of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a home race, and the finale at Petit Le Mans. The pass at the end, lots of respect to Scott Hargrove in the Porsche, this time it was him, next time it might be me. Good racing today. A good podium finish for the WeatherTech Racing team!”
For Team Owner Giacomo Mattioli today’s effort was an example of his team’s strength.
“Today was a true team effort,” Mattioli said. “The Scuderia Corsa team had the correct strategy to help Cooper push to the front at the start which ultimately put Toni in fighting position at the end. I am very proud of the dedication the crew showed this weekend. A podium is a welcome reward.”
Scuderia Corsa and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship head home for the penultimate round of the 2019 calendar. The team hosts both fans and clients at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the Sept. 13-15 weekend. The race broadcast airs live on NBC Sunday, Sept. 15 from 3-6 p.m. ET. Follow all the action on Scuderia Corsa social media channels: Twitter @Scuderia_Corsa, Facebook at Scuderia Corsa, Instagram at @Scuderia.Corsa.