Ferrari will be looking to continue its winning form when Scuderia Corsa fields the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the penultimate round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Cooper MacNeil and Alessandro Balzan will pilot the No. 63 Ferrari in the two-hour, 40-minute race on the classic 2.238-mile layout that contains the iconic Corkscrew turn.
The duo combined with Jeff Westphal to capture GT Daytona honors in the recent Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The red, white and blue Ferrari dominated the 10-hour event, leading 99 laps – including the final 40.
Westphal led the opening 20 laps before turning the Ferrari over to MacNeil. Carrying the momentum from capturing the 2020 Ferrari Challenge North America title, MacNeil and then Balzan kept the team in podium contention for the remainder of the event. Westphal went ahead with a pass for the lead with one hour, seven minutes, leading the remainder of the green-flag laps despite a pair of late cautions that erased a 15-second lead.
“It’s huge, coming to WeatherTech Raceway after winning Petit Le Mans,” MacNeil said. “Last year, I qualified third there and finished P2 with Toni (Vilander) as my partner.”
Vilander started the 2020 season with the team but has been forced to the sidelines due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, returning Balzan to the lineup. Ordinarily, Petit Le Mans serves as the season finale, but the modified schedule has the campaign ending with WeatherTech Raceway followed by the Twelve Hours of Sebring (normally held in March) on Nov. 14.
“I expect to be strong at WeatherTech Raceway again,” MacNeil said. “We’ve only improved the race car, so I expect to have solid pace out of the car.”
MacNeil is looking for the winning momentum to continue beyond Laguna Seca.
“We expect to be strong, not only at WeatherTech Raceway, but going back to Sebring as well,” MacNeil said. “I’ve been to that race 10 or 11 times and been on the podium about 50-percent of that. I have a good track record there, no pun intended. I’m looking forward to closing out the season on a super-strong note.”
Following the victory, MacNeil is ranked 12th in the WeatherTech Championship and 14th entering the Sprint Cup finale.
“We’re not here to be in the championship hunt,” MacNeil said. “We’re here to win races now. There were three left after missing a couple of those for me to focus on my Ferrari Challenge Championship, which we secured for the third year in a row. So I’m looking forward to being on the top step of the podium in the WeatherTech Championship, not only at WeatherTech Raceway, but Sebring as well.”
Practice for the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca event begins with a pair of practices on Saturday. Qualifying begins at 8:30 a.m. (all times PT) on Sunday, followed by the race at 1:05 p.m.