Another strong Sebring for SA’s Simpson
South African IMSA Prototype driver Stephen Simpson driving with Russo Canadian Misha Goikhberg and US driver Chris Miller took their new JDC Miller Motorsports ORECA-Gibson 07 to a strong fourth overall in the Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday. The trio was the first LMP2 crew home behind a dominant works Cadillac 1-2-3 headed by Wayne Taylor Racing.
Simpson, Goikhberg and Miller qualified seventh but the trio soon moved up to run third at quarter distance, before slipping back as the factory Caddys eventually found their way past as the half-day race wore on. “It was a tough and physical Sebring 12 hour,” Stephen admitted. “There weren’t many yellow flag periods so it went green most of the race, but the JDC Miller Motorsports team did a great job.
“My teammates, Chris and Mikhail drove very well - I don’t think any of us put 2 wheels off track all race and it was also good to be up in the top 3 for the first half of the race and to be challenging with the Cadillacs and ultimately we scored a solid fourth place finish. “Interestingly I’ve now done the Sebring 12-Hour three times and finished 4th in every one!”
Simpson also raced in the second round for the Continental Tire Sports Car Championship where he shared the JDC-Miller BMW 228i with Michael Johnson in the Sebring 120. “On the BMW front,” Stephen rued. “It was a challenging weekend, we ended up retiring with a lap to go, however my team mate Johnson drove a great race and he’s continuing to improve so we’re looking forward to t'he rest of the season.”
It's back to a happy hunting ground next up Stephen and Goihkberg who head back to the Prototype Grand Prix of Long Beach in California 8 April, where they won in Prototype Challenge last year. The next BMW race is at Austin, Texas a month later.