Lady Luck absent as Stephen sets pace
Road America’s ninth round of the 2017 IMSA Weatherteck Prototype Challenge proved to be a tough weekend for South Africa’s Stephen Simpson and his Russo-Canadian teammate Misha Goikhberg. The duo once again set the pace throughout the weekend only to be foiled by Lady Luck when triple full-course yellows conspired against a strategic gamble by the JDC-Miller squad.
Simpson was running a strong third when the first of the three yellows flew and the team opted to stay outl leaving Stephen in the lead and looking for a clean run to the finish with an excellent chance to win. But the dice rolled against them when two further caution periods played into the hands of their rivals.
The JDC-Miller Oreca-Gibson was forced to pit twice - late in the race, once in an emergency splash and dash service under yellow flags and again under green flags as the rules demand in the event of emergency service, all of which conspired to see Simpson trailing home in a disappointed eighth position.
“Overall it was a tough end to our day yesterday,” Stephen confessed. “After being fastest in practice on Friday, I was confident we could have another strong weekend. “I drove hard this weekend, but things just didn’t work out for us and in the end this is racing and it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
“The JDC Miller Motorsports guys are working hard and doing a great job as always and we are all confident that our day will come. “Now we just need to get over the disappointment of the weekend and get on with it — our day will come, that much is for sure.
“Oh yes — I set a new lap record during the race! “Now we just need to turn that pace into that long awaited race win!” Stephen returns to the wheel of the JDC-Miller Oreca at the Virginia International Raceway 26-27 August.