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Stephen eyes building on strong IMSA start

South African Stephen Simpson and Russo-Canadian Misha Goikhberg head to the Circuit of the Americas Saturday 6 May with a spring in their step and in a hard-earned third in the Weathertech IMSA Prototype series following a strong first three championship races aboard the JDC-Miller Oreca. But the 5.4km Austin facility you will know as US Grand Prix circuit, is a special weekend for Simpson.

“Racing at COTA always reminds me of the years I spent racing in Europe on F1 tracks,” Stephen admits. “Before moving to America, I raced in Europe for four years and competed at most of the Formula 1 tracks with their big run-off areas, typically smooth track surfaces and long laps, all very similar to the feel of COTA. 

“The COTA race was usually later in the year in the past, but this year the race swapped dates with Laguna Seca, which in turn moves to a date later in the year so our COTA race weekend should be a little cooler than normal and this difference in temperature is definitely going to change our approach and setup compared to previous years.

“The JDC Miller Motorsports team has been working hard since our last race at Long Beach and we’re looking to build on our strong start to the season and we are working hard to get on the podium for the first time — let’s see if we can catch those Cadillacs!”

Simpson also returns to duty in the Continental Touring Car race at Austin alongside Michael Johnston this weekend. “It will also be the third round of the CTSCC and Michael and I are determined to make it a good weekend and bring our JDC-Miller BMW 228i home to a strong result.”

Follow Stephen Simpson racing live via streaming and timing on www.imsa.tv — the 2-hour Continental race from 22h45 SA time Friday and the WeatherTech 3-hour from 21h35 Saturday 6 May.