Cooper MacNeil turned in the 10th-fastest time in treacherous conditions Saturday in qualifying for the GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway. MacNeil will start the race and then turn the Ferrari 488 GT3 machine over to co-driver Toni Vilander in the penultimate race of the IMSA Sprint Cup championship.
With rain thoroughly coating the track ahead of the session, the surface changed with every lap as the rain tapered off enough that a dry line emerged.
Driving the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3, MacNeil provisionally held the pole early in the 15-minute session, but the drying conditions saw others take advantage late in the session.
“We made the right choice with the rain tires for qualifying,” MacNeil said. “I was able to put in a couple of good laps while the track was still wet and then as the session went on it started to dry. I had a slight spin in Turn 3 in the WeatherTech Ferrari, but was able to keep it on the track. As the track dried, we just couldn’t get the power down. We were fast yesterday in the sunshine running fourth both practices, so we have a good dry set-up for the race tomorrow.”
MacNeil recovered and continued to improve, running 1:54.823-seconds on his best and final lap. Earlier Saturday, co-driver Vilander was third-fastest in the final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session.
Sunday’s GT Challenge takes the green flag at 1:35 p.m. The event will be televised live on NBCSN, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.