Yes, really: WeatherTech Porsche leaves WeatherTech series over BOP

Photo courtesy of IMSA
1 Comment

Late last night, Alex Job Racing confirmed its WeatherTech-backed Porsche 911 GT3 R would withdraw from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

So why, you ask, would a sponsor pull out of a series that it is – and will remain per its initial multi-year contract – the entitlement sponsor of?

According to the team, it’s the dreaded Balance of Performance for the Porsche in the GT Daytona class.

“We have decided to withdrawal the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche for the remainder of the IMSA season,” Alex Job, team owner, said. “The decision to stop racing was rooted purely on performance and the future prospects for the Porsche at the remaining tracks on the 2016 schedule. The conclusion was based upon the performance in direct comparison to the competition over the past eight GTD races and the possible variations of how the BOP (balance of performance) could playout over the next three races with our engineering team and IMSA.”

David MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech, remains committed to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“This is a competition decision as it relates to the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche team in IMSA,” MacNeil said. “We make marketing decisions based upon what is best for our business. We are still the presenting sponsor of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and we are committed to growing the sport now and into the future.”

A statement from IMSA reads as follows:

“IMSA was recently informed of the decision to suspend participation of the No. 22 Alex Job Racing entry in GTD class competition of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.  One of the most significant and defining elements of sports car racing is the variety of cars, brands and technologies within our highly competitive GT categories.

“The IMSA Technical Committee was established to professionally manage the complex Balance of Performance (BoP) process to ensure fair and close competition among the many participating brands and teams.  The committee operates with a transparent, data-driven process which closely analyzes both actual race performance and related observation factors.

“We are disappointed the No. 22 car will not be competing at our next event, but remain committed to our ongoing process.”

This is then the point in the story where we look at the results of the No. 22 Porsche, driven by Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen (until Road America, when Keen was let go and Porsche Junior Sven Mueller filled in) compared to the other three full-time Porsches in the GTD class:

  • No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT3 R: 13, 5, 8, 7, 5, 7, 9, 11
  • No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: 8, 4, 1, 4, 3, 12, 14, 12
  • No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R: 17, 17, 11, 2, 8, 6, 10, 2
  • No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: 2, 13, 17, WD, 7, WD, 12, WD

So as you’ll see there, the Nos. 23, 73 and 540 Porsches have made it on the podium this year while the No. 22 Porsche has not. Porsche also sits second in the GTD Manufacturer’s Championship with three races remaining.

In fact, the last time the No. 22 Porsche was on an IMSA podium was the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona, when it finished second. But that was 18 races and 18 months ago in January, 2015.

While BOP concerns are fair to bring up, the other point to note is the competition level in GTD has significantly risen the last year and a half, and will only continue to do so as the caliber of driver, team and manufacturers in class continues to increase.

From an objective viewpoint, it looks worse on WeatherTech than it does on IMSA.

Then there was this that came in from Ed Brown, CEO of Patron Spirits, who noted his team – Tequila Patron ESM – often fought on in the face of adverse BOP when that team ran in IMSA full-time.

Ironically, they don’t now as they are in the FIA World Endurance Championship full-time, but they have remained committed to the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, which of course, they still sponsor.

When approached for comment, Porsche offered the below.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s