Scuderia Corsa will be looking to capitalize on its home track advantage in Sunday’s IMSA Road Race Showcase, the seventh of 10 rounds in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD competition. Cooper MacNeil of Hinsdale, Ill., will join Finnish Toni Vilander in the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GTE.
MacNeil got his introduction to sports car racing at Road America, watching his father – David MacNeil – compete in club events. “Road America is my home race, and I can’t wait to get back there,” said MacNeil. “We’ll have a lot of friends and employees there. It has about every kind of turn there is. We are ready to have a good race. We’ve had some tough outings this year and we need to really put together a complete weekend where we are good in practice and have a car capable of running upfront in the race. I think this can be that weekend.”
The Scuderia Corsa team had back luck in the most recent IMSA race at Lime Rock Park. A transmission issue midway through MacNeil’s stint caused him to lose time with a full lap in second gear and forced an extra trip to the the pits so the Scuderia Corsa crew could correct the problem. Vilander was up to speed when he rejoined the race three laps down, but was unable to make up the difference as the race ran green from start to finish.
MacNeil is coming off a podium finish at Road America for Scuderia Corsa in 2018, finishing third with Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3. He won the GTC class in the 2012 ALMS race at the circuit, co-driving for Alex Job Racing with Jeroen Bleekemolen, and finished second the following two years with the team. Vilander is also a former winner at Elkhart Lake. He won the GT class in the 2011 race with Jaime Melo in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT, and took fifth in GTLM with Giancarlo Fisichella in his lone IMSA race at the circuit, in a Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE. Last year, he finished second and fifth for R. Ferri Motorsport in World Challenge competition, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3.
“Same as Cooper, I like Road America,” Vilander said. “I think it is one of the best circuits in the U.S. I’ve won there in the past in ALMS and have also turned many laps there in the World Challenge Ferrari. I like the fast corners, especially the Carousel leading into the ultra-fast Kink. It has been busy weeks for me, just coming off of the Spa 24. But I am ready for a good race in front of a lot of WeatherTech employees and fans that will be there this weekend.”
Ferraris have a strong history at Road America, winning in IMSA, Grand-Am and ALMS competition at the circuit. Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer won the IMSA GTLM class in 2014, in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT, while Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato captured the Rolex Series GT class in 2012 in the AIM Autosport/Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia. In addition to the 2011 victory, Ferraris captured ALMS class triumphs in 2007 and 2003.
GTD practice gets underway at Friday at 11:30 a.m. (all times CT). Qualifying is Saturday at 12:35 p.m., with the race getting underway on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. The race will have a delayed broadcast Sunday on NBCSN, beginning at 6 p.m. ET.