MacNeil and Keen Second in WeatherTech AJR Porsche at Long Beach
LONG BEACH, CAlIF, (Apr. 14, 2012) - Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen drove their No. 22 WeatherTech AJR Porsche to a second-place finish in today's running of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Starting from the GTC Class pole position, MacNeil (Hinsdale, IL) was in a heated battle for the lead for most of his stint, driving his first laps in dry conditions through the streets of Long Beach. Running fast laps up to the races first caution period on lap 38, MacNeil handed the car over to Keen (Charleston, SC) in the lead. Keen took over and was locked in a three-way battle for the front spot. Falling to third momentarily on lap 52, he was able to race his way back to second by lap 57. Traffic and the lack of a late race caution conspired to keep Keen from taking the lead, instead settling for second place.
"I had a pretty good start," MacNeil said. "I was running some fast laps and getting used to the traffic. I ran my first dry laps today at the drop of the green. I just wanted to run my own race. I was able to hand the car over the Leh in the lead, and he did a great job to bring the car home in second place. It was a great points day and we didn't put a wheel wrong all weekend."
Keen was able to finish the race in a strong points paying second position.
"It was an exciting weekend," Keen said. "We battled all of the elements all weekend here at Long Beach. We got a second-place finish, which is good for points. We have to be happy about that aspect. A lot of cars went home on the wrecker. We don't have a scratch on ours. The car was pretty good. We didn't get any time to tune the car in the dry. We had a mixed set-up on the car with what we did yesterday and what we ran last year. It was good enough to get the job done for a podium finish."
Alex Job, team owner, celebrates another podium finish with the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche.
"Cooper and Leh did a great job," Job said. "Cooper had a very strong first stint. He was able to lead most of his run and turned the car over to Leh in first place. Leh was in a battle for the lead and then traffic separated him from the front car. I was hoping to get a late race caution to close the gap, but that didn't happen. Two second-place finishes in as many races is a great start to the season."
The team will travel to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif. May 10-12 for round three of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in ALMS history with 42 wins. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 102 podium finishes. The team has won three championships (GT in 2002, 2003 and 2004) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts eight Sebring 12 hour victories.
The ALMS GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche's one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.