Stephen Simpson stars in Canada

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SA’s Stephen Simpson delivers a stunning drive at Mosport Park

South Africa’s Stephen Simpson drove a stellar race as he led most of the way through the IMSA PC Mobil Sportscar Grand Prix at Mosport Park, Canada Sunday before the #85Hi-Tide Red Line JDC Miller ORECA Chevrolet dropped to finish fifth.

“It was another weekend where the whole JDC Miller Motorsports team put in so much hard work and effort without reward,” Stephen rued after the race. “We tried a different strategy this weekend with me qualifying because my teammate’s wife was pregnant and expecting over the weekend, so Misha was at the hospital in Toronto with her.

“The Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is a very challenging, old school race track with extreme elevation and surface changes and fast, blind corners. “It was my first time at the track and practice was disrupted with rain so we really only got the car dialled in when it was dry in qualifying and we made some more improvements during warm up and had a decent race car.”

Still, Stephen qualified third and raced into a strong lead until the field concertinaed in a safety car period before fending off various challenges from his PC rivals in a thrilling second half. The gap was often down to hundredths of seconds, but Stephen responded each time to pit in the lead and hand the JDC Miller machine over to Goikhberg.

“It was good to lead for so long and we collected decent points in the end — now we just need to turn that pace into our third win of the season,” Stephen explained. Simpson and Goikhberg won the Daytona 24 hour and the Long Beach Street race earlier in the season.

Simpson also raced JDC Miller’s BMW 228i in the Continental Tire race on Saturday, which proved another step in the right direction for Stephen and his disabled teammate Michael Johnson, who drives the BMW with hand controls. “We finished the race and learned more about the car and what we need to do to improve,” Stephen explained. “Michael did very well is making big improvements and Im excited to get back on track with some more upgrades which will hopefully move us up the grid.”

Simpson travels to Lime Rock in Connecticut for the next races of both series 22-24 July.

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