BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 13, 2019) – Scuderia Corsa topped off the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season by finishing fifth in the Motul Petit Le Mans at MICHELIN Raceway Road Atlanta.
The 10-hour endurance event served Scuderia Corsa many highlights throughout its duration. WeatherTech Racing driver Cooper MacNeil, Ferrari Factory Driver Toni Vilander and veteran driver Jeff Westphal all took turns leading the race in the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari. Scuderia Corsa led the first four hours of the race, taking the points lead in the Michelin Endurance Cup. Ultimately, Scuderia Corsa would finish second in the inaugural Michelin Endurance Cup.
The team sat in second at the eight-hour mark and was competing for the lead until the final 40 minutes. Vilander was assisted off course after attempting to pass another GT Daytona car. Vilander was momentarily stranded in a gravel trap before the safety team pulled the No. 63 Ferrari back to the track and he quickly continued. Overcoming the contact, Vilander regained two positions before the checkered flag fell, showcasing the enduring strength of the Ferrari. Each driver’s clean execution paired with smooth pit stops attributed to the team’s ability to challenge for the win consistently.
For MacNeil, today’s race mirrored the entirety of the 2019 season for Scuderia Corsa.
“I feel good about the majority of the season,” MacNeil said. “It went as a race season goes, you have some highs and some lows and everything in between. The Scuderia Corsa guys persevered all season. They put in the work to compete at the front of the field in this competitive GTD championship. It is too bad we weren’t able to finish the last race on the podium. We ran fast all day and were in contention for a podium up until the last 40-minutes. I feel good about my track record here at Michelin Raceway; we won the race last year. We will be looking to come back even stronger next year.”
For Vilander, the ability to be competitive for 10 hours showcased Scuderia Corsa’s strength.
“We were in a position to hunt the whole 10 hours,” Vilander said. “We won the first four hours. We were outside the top three with the No. 33 car. I was side-by-side with the Acura in 10a, and we had contact, they were a lap down. I went off, and we went a lap down. The restart was crazy, I was mixed in with some DPi cars and got hit some more by cars from the other classes. I didn’t give up, so we finished fifth. The guys did a great job, Jeff, Cooper and the entire crew. We started the season tough with my big mistake at Daytona, and we got stronger as the season went on with five podium finishes.”
For Westphal racing with Ferrari reignited a passion and reunited a family.
“The four races were a blast,” Westphal said. “To help Cooper and Toni along with Dominik at the long races in the WeatherTech Ferrari was fantastic. The car was strong all year and being back with my old racing family was a pleasure. It was great to work with everyone from Scuderia Corsa and see some familiar places. The tracks for the long races are so iconic and are some of my favorites, so it’s great to be a part of the program.”
For Team Owner Giacomo Mattioli, the Petit Le Mans contest brought his team’s versatility to center stage.
“It was an hard fought race,” Mattioli said. “Unfortunately we finished two points short to win the Endurance Championship due to the late contact. However, I am proud of the crew and drivers efforts. It has been a positive season that showed the team’s caliber and potential. We will be back next year as a contender”
The Motul Petit Le Mans completes the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, however, Scuderia Corsa and MacNeil’s race season persists. The team takes its Ferrari Challenge drivers and crew to the Mugello Circuit in Tuscany, Italy, for the Finalli Mondiali. Follow all the action on Scuderia Corsa social media channels: Twitter @Scuderia_Corsa, Facebook at Scuderia Corsa, Instagram at @Scuderia.Corsa.
About Scuderia Corsa:
In 2019, Las Vegas-based team Scuderia Corsa enters IndyCar Series season, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500, after expanding its racing efforts to open-wheel in 2018 running in the 102nd Indianapolis 500. GT results include: IMSA GTD Champion (2017, 2016, 2015), Grand-AM GT Champion (2013), Pirelli World Challenge GTA Champion (2016), 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-AM Winner (2016), 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-AM Podium (2017, 2015), 12H of Sebring Winner (2016, 2019), 12H of Sebring Podium (2018, 2017), 10H of Petit Le Mans Winner (2018), 6H of Watkins Glen Winner (2016), 6H of Watkins Glen Podium (2017). Championship winning, Scuderia Corsa was founded in 2012 by Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo. Follow Scuderia Corsa on Twitter @Scuderia_Corsa, Facebook at Scuderia Corsa, Instagram at @Scuderia.Corsa and ScuderiaCorsa.com.
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Picture Credit: Bob Chapman