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Jun 12, 2014 - 06:42 AM
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2014 Le Mans 24: Weathertech Racing First Day At Le Mans
Posted by: newsla on Jun 12, 2014 - 06:40 AM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: Weathertech Racing First Day At Le Mans


WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Bret Curtis put in a full evening of driving in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche in preparation for this weekend's running of the twice around the clock French classic that will take the green flag Saturday at 3 p.m. local time.

 

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Nine time Le Mans veteran Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo) had the wheel of the WeatherTech Racing Porsche RSR prepared by ProSpeed Motorsports for the opening laps. Making few changes and getting the feel of the 8.4-mile, 38-turn Circuit de la Sarthe he was well in sight of the front of the LMGTAM pack. Turning over to Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) for the second stint, the young University of Colorado at Boulder student also reacquainted himself with the circuit that combines a dedicated race track with country roads after being a year away from the Le Mans track. Bret Curtis (Lake Sherwood, Calif.) was third in and got right down to business having last run the race in 2012. By the end of the six hours of running the team was classified in ninth place on the LMGTAM time sheet with a best time of 4:01.226.

"My first laps went pretty good," MacNeil said. "I am just getting used to the track and what the Porsche wants to get around here fast. I was able to do a good number of laps in the late afternoon and that helped me to remember the circuit as well as some of the braking points. My stint at night I was only able to get one timed lap thanks to two red flag periods. Everyone is driving a little crazy this evening. I am focused on keeping the car clean and maximizing my laps. The car is handling pretty good on this first day. Jeroen and Bret are doing the same thing and I think we have a good start to the weekend."

Curtis was caught out by a shortened night session.

"I diidn't get a whole lot of laps today," Curtis said. "I think I did three timed laps, so I have a lot of time left to find out there tomorrow. We are down on overall pace to the rest of the field, so we will have to have good fuel economy and keep the car clean and out of the pits. The car is good and so far is easy to drive, so I will just work on my lap times and being consistent."

Bleekemolen likes the way the car is handling.

"We had a good start to the day," Bleekemolen said. "We have some catching up to do as we didn't do the test where most of the others did a couple of weeks ago. We all have some laps so far and the car is feeling good, we have a lot of confidence with the WeatherTech Porsche. Maybe a couple of adjustments, but we are not far off at all."

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be televised live, in its entirety, on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 starting on Saturday, June 14 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

FOX Sports Broadcast Schedule (subject to change; all times ET):
Saturday, June 14 - 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (FOX Sports 1, LIVE)
Saturday, June 14 - 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (FOX Sports 2, LIVE)
Saturday, June 14 - 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (FOX Sports GO, LIVE)
Saturday, June 14 - 6:30 PM to 1:00 AM (FOX Sports 2, LIVE)
Saturday, June 14 - 1:00 AM to 7:30 AM (FOX Sports 1, LIVE)
Sunday, June 15 - 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM (FOX Sports 2, LIVE)
*Entire race streamed LIVE on FOX Sports GO

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