A promising run for the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari came to a sudden end with 51 minutes remaining when a mechanical issue sidelined the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo in Saturday’s GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.
Cooper MacNeil did an ironman opening stint, driving for one hour, 10 minutes in the two-hour, 40-minute race and running as high as third before pitting under green to turn the Ferrari over to Toni Vilander.
“It is too bad that we had the mechanical issue,” MacNeil said. “I had a good long stint. The three restarts were pretty crazy. The WeatherTech Racing Ferrari was handling good and running strong. I was turning good lap times. I turned it over to Toni, he had a good first fuel run and then we brought him in for his last stop and he reported the engine down on power. It is too bad. I think we had the strategy and the car for another podium finish here at VIR.”
The green-flag stop dropped Vilander back in the field. He worked his way back to second before the team executed what was planned as its final stop. Only moments later, though, the Ferrari was back on pit road, and the day was over.
“Cooper had a great opening stint, running more than an hour and restarting three times after yellows,” Vilander said. “I got in the car and we were making up ground, turning nice lap times. Then when we were about to make our last pit stop the engine started to lose power. I pitted, we recycled the engine management system and went back out. It felt like it was not getting boost from the turbo. So, I brought it to the garage and that was it. We had a good strategy playing out for a strong finish, but wasn’t to be.”
The next race for the WeatherTech Ferrari will be on Sunday, Sept. 6, in a six-hour race at Road Atlanta that will serve as the sixth stop in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the second round of the IMSA Endurance Cup.