Petit podium secures title third
South Africa’s US IMSA PC star Stephen Simpson ended his year on a high in spite of some challenges at the series Petit Le Mans finale at Road Atlanta in Georgia.
Simpson, sharing with regular teammate Russo-Canadian Misha Goikhberg and US driver Chris Miller, drove the JDC Miller Motorsports Hi-Tide Red Line ORECA Chevrolet to third in the WeatherTech Prototype Challenge race to wrap up third in the overall 2016 WeatherTech Prototype Challenge championship. “It was good to finish the season with a podium at Petit Le Mans,” Stephen admitted.
“We had a good car right out of the box in first practice on Thursday and ended the session second, but after that we experienced oil pressure issues that hindered us for the remainder of the weekend. “That also meant that we had very little track time and quite honestly, we did not expect that we would last very long in the race, but the old girl pulled through in the end.
“My team mates did a great job and JDC Miller Motorsports were exceptional in adjusting our race strategy to make the most of our situation and get the car to the end – I was in the car for a long 3 hour stint to finish the race. “Overall it was a shame we weren’t able to fight for the win, but under the circumstances a third place finish is a good end to our season.
“It was a good year too,” Simpson concluded. “We finished third in the Prototype Challenge drivers championship and won twice and now JDC Miller Motorsports embarks on a new challenge with the our new ORECA in the top IMSA Prototype class.
Simpson and his teammates won the season-opening Rolex Daytona 24 Hour in the PC class and he and regular teammate Goikhberg won again in Long Beach. JDC Miller is due to confirm its driver line-up for its 2017 campaign with its new ORECA 07 LMP2 racer.