While some twenty-year-olds will undoubtedly be taking trips to Europe and consuming an epic amount of alcohol this summer, others will be using that time to race cars in legendary motorsports events. Specifically, American sports-car driver Cooper MacNeil announced last week that he will join Larbre Competition as the third driver in the No. 70 WeatherTech/Chevrolet Corvette C6.R in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this June.
Larbre Competition fields the Corvette C6.R in Le Mans as the GTE-Am race champions for the third year in a row, and Chicago-area native MacNeil will join drivers Philippe Dumas and Manu Rodrigues. For MacNeil, who will experience his first Le Mans race and his first track time in a Corvette, running the iconic American sports car in the world-famous race is a matter of pride.
“The deal came about as a conversation we had with Gary Pratt at Pratt & Miller [the company that operates the factory Corvette Racing program], and he put us in contact with Jack LeConte at Larbre Competition, and we put a deal together,” MacNeil said. “I’m really excited to be in the Corvette. It is an American car running at Le Mans. That means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to going over there and driving that legendary track.”
The University of Colorado at Boulder student won ALMS GTC driver’s title with Alex Job Racing in 2012 and won at Sebring 12 Hours in March, and is looking forward to succeeding this year at Le Mans:
“Larbre has won the big race three years in a row; it obviously says a lot about the team and the car,” he said. “I’m hoping to make it four. Winning the ALMS GTC championship last year and now Sebring has been great. I am looking forward to going over to France and racing with Larbre Competition in the Corvette. I’m excited for the whole Le Mans experience.”
MacNeil will have to quickly become familiar with driving the C6.R and with the track before the June race. To do so, he will have some wheel time with the car in May and will drive the eight-mile circuit for the first time in June:
“My first run in the car will be in May at the team’s home track. I’ll be in the car for the Le Mans test day, to get my first taste of that great eight-mile circuit. I’ve heard really good things about the car. My ALMS teammate, Jeroen Bleekemolen, drove the car last year and said it’s super easy to drive and a blast. That’s reassuring to me. I was talking to Pratt & Miller Corvette Racing crew chief Dan Binks, and he is going to help with some video and data. [Corvette Racing drivers] Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin have also offered every assistance. I am planning to be pretty well prepared when I show up at Le Mans in June.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place June 22-23 at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Test day will take place Sunday, June 9th.
The GM Authority Take
We can’t wait to see Mr. MacNeil, along with the entire Larbre Competition and Corvette Racing teams, run Le Mans 2013, and show ’em how it’s all done — on the world stage. Light ‘er up, boys.