WeatherTech Racing will be stepping up to the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship for 2021, entering a single Porsche with support from Le Mans winning team Proton Competition.
The American outfit has been involved in American racing since 2012 and has spent the last few seasons campaigning a Ferrari in the GT Daytona category.
For 2021, team regular Cooper Macneil will be piloting the #79 Porsche 911 RSR-19 throughout the full campaign. The Illinois native will be joined at the Rolex 24 at Daytona by Porsche factory drivers Richard Lietz, Kevin Estre and Gianmaria Bruni.
“We have put a lot of thought into this move,” MacNeil said. “I have raced against this level of competition at Le Mans twice, most recently this year, and have felt comfortable with the added performance of the car.”
“We are going back to running a Porsche, and I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the 911 RSR. It will be more pressure on me as a driver, but I am welcoming the added effort it is going to take to run GTLM in 2021.”
For the step up, WeatherTech Racing partners with German championship winning squad Proton Competition. Proton and its team owner Christian Ried have been involved in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series for a number of seasons, and notably took a class win in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We raced with Christian at Le Mans in 2016, so we have an on-track history,” MacNeil continued. “I am looking forward to running the Rolex 24 with Richard, Kevin and Gimmi. Proton has a great endurance racing history, and Porsche is always competitive at Daytona.”
Despite the team’s significant success in European racing, the 2021 season marks the first for Proton in North American competition, as Ried explains.
“We have been looking at entering the IMSA WeatherTech Championship for a few years,” he said. “We just didn’t feel like the time was right until now. With the factory effort leaving, that left a void for Porsche in GTLM.”
“We were able to get together with David and Cooper [MacNeil] to keep the Porsche brand racing at the top level of GT competition in IMSA. I am looking forward to the challenge and am excited to add IMSA to our racing schedule in 2021.”