On a weekend that featured changing and challenging conditions nearly every session before blue skies and sunshine emerged for the race, Scuderia Corsa battled through en route to a seventh place finish with the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Cooper MacNeil and Toni Vilander.
The event was the third round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech Championship for the GTD class runners, and also featured the first-ever round of IMSA Sprint Cup competition. The sprint-format race weekend marked the second season of IMSA competition at the natural terrain circuit set in rural Ohio that is both fast and technical.
Despite moving forward from their qualifying grid position in the race, the visit to Mid-Ohio didn’t yield as much upward mobility for the MacNeil/Vilander duo as they had been hoping for.
“We had tough and trying weather conditions all week long, then the sun came out for the race,” MacNeil said. “We had to guess on the dry set-up and we kind of missed it. We had a lot of understeer in the car, especially in traffic.”
The race ran at a flat out pace, with two hours of competition before the first and only yellow flag flew on lap 99. With four classes of competition sharing the track, it was a busy event for all the drivers.
“The good news is the car is in one piece,” MacNeil added. “We finished significantly higher than we started, which is always the goal. We will be ready for Detroit at the end of the month.”
“It was a tough race out there,” Vilander said. “It was not an easy weekend with the changing conditions all the time. We just didn’t have the best set up today. With the pace of the GTD field you really have to have everything working great. With only one yellow, that came late, it was difficult to improve our track position. I had a few good fights near the end, and Andy Lally was pushing really hard near the end. It was a fair fight.”
The May event will be followed by a June visit to the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit, site of the second round of IMSA Sprint Cup competition.
“There is really tough competition in the GTD class,” Vilander continued. “We need to get a few details right and then we will be more competitive. We will work on it and be ready for a street fight in Detroit.”
Next up for the WeatherTech Scuderia Corsa Ferrari will be the Sports Car Classic at Detroit’s Belle Isle Circuit on Saturday, June 1.