Thoughts by Cooper MacNeil, Winner of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Published on Thu, Aug 13, 2020
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca asked Cooper MacNeil 5 questions for his perspective on the race world providing some interesting insight.
Cooper MacNeil is a winning driver in the Ferrari Challenge Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Since starting his racing career in 2009 with SCCA at Road America in a Mini Cooper S, Cooper has added some serious hardware to the trophy case.
In 2011, Cooper earned a first place finish in the Ferrari Challenge Series at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He then followed that victory with another, this time in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge in Montreal.
In 2012, Cooper became an ALMS GTC champion and repeated the crown in 2013. In 2019, Cooper added another victory by winning the 24h of COTA.
Cooper’s father is non other than David MacNeil – WeatherTech founder and CEO, and long-time supporter of the legendary track at Laguna Seca.
Naturally, the folks at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca wanted to ask Cooper some questions, and his answers are spot on.
What three race cars from any era would you like to drive, but haven’t?
Group B Audi Quattro S1
Mercedes 190E DTM
Baja 1000 Trophy Truck
What motivates you and why?
The world is ever changing and knowledge is extremely important. I really enjoy learning new things and building my knowledge base. Racing is another passion of mine and I have a few other boxes to tick off like winning the 24h of Le Mans and the 24h of Daytona.
What turn here is the most likely one to trip you up?
Turn 9. Exiting the corkscrew flat out you drop down into turn 9: an off camber, downhill, high speed turn that lacks grip. I have only spun out there once, back in 2011, and I still remember it to this day. Every time you drop into that corner, you can easily spin so I am proud to have only done it once there!
What advice did your parent(s) give you when you told them you wanted to be a race car driver?
I was lucky enough to have a father that raced for 20 years. I grew up spending a lot of time at the track watching my dad race, and grew a passion for it that way. Watching him succeed gave me the drive - no pun intended - to succeed in racing as well.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca aside, which are your two favorite tracks and why?
Le Mans is #1. That place is magical. 300k+ people, all true motorsports fans, and 8.5 miles of amazing race track. #2 is Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. I only get to race there in Ferrari Challenge as a support race during the F1 weekend so the track time is limited. The track layout is one of the best and it's similar to a street course with no runoff. That means no room for error, which I love.