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WeatherTech Mercedes and Porsche

WeatherTech Racing To Field Porsche and Mercedes in GTD PRO at Daytona

By Jeff Olson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Cooper MacNeil will drive two cars – a Mercedes and a Porsche – in the Rolex 24 At Daytona this month.


WeatherTech Racing announced plans Monday to enter the No. 97 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the No. 79 Porsche 911 GT3 R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO Class for the 60th anniversary of the famous endurance race Jan. 29-30.


MacNeil will share driving duties with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella in the Mercedes, and with Julien Andlauer, Matteo Cairoli and Alessio Picariello in the Porsche.


MacNeil, 29, has 11 class victories in 11 seasons. Among the highlights are two wins at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and three wins at Motul Petit Le Mans. He’s also finished on the podium twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


Daytona has been on his wish list from the start, MacNeil said.


“The Rolex 24 is the equivalent of our Super Bowl,” he said. “Winning this race has been one of my racing goals since I started. … I’ve finished second at the Rolex 24, but they don’t give a watch out for second place.”


Last year, WeatherTech Racing fielded the No. 79 Porsche 911 RSR-19 in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, which is being replaced in 2022 with the GTD PRO class.


“With two cars from different brands, I think we have a good shot at being on the top step of the podium,” MacNeil said. “I am looking forward to the challenge of driving both cars, and considering our driver lineup, I like our chances.”


After the Rolex 24, MacNeil will pursue the class championship in the No. 79 Porsche with Andlauer as his full-time co-driver.


The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opens Jan. 21-23 with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 practice and qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. Activity at DIS resumes Jan. 27, with the Rolex 24 scheduled to begin its 24-hour run Jan. 29 at 1:40 p.m. ET.


Live coverage of the events can be seen on NBC Sports’ platforms, including NBC network coverage of the start and finish of the race.