Consistent Stephen scores again in Texas
South Africa’s Stephen Simpson continued his consistent best-Cadillac performance in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Prototype race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but the Capetonian and his Russon-Canadian teammate Misha Goikhberg are becoming frustrated by their JDC-Miller Oreca-Gibson once again just missing out on the podium with three fourths and a fifth in the opening four rounds.
“Yes another fourth place finish!” Stephen confirmed. “We are definitely consistent but we want better!” Stephen and Goikhberg were competitive throughout the weekend and despite the Cadillac steamroller, the duo consistent sits amongst their dominant rivals in a strong third in the IMSA title chase following a close fight to the finish with the third Fittipaldi/Barbosa Cadillac in Texas.
“The JDC Miller Motorsports guys did a great job all weekend,” Stephen pointed out. “During practice on Thursday and Friday our car was good and we were continuing to improve on it, by the time the race came around, it was much hotter than it had been for the previous two days and the increased temperatures didn’t help us. "We had good pace on new tires but we weren't strong enough on older tires when our competitors were. “Nevertheless, that was another respectable finish.”
Simpson also raced in the IMSA Continental Sports Production championship sharing JDC-Miller BMW 228i with disabled co-driver Michael Johnson, which was a little more challenging Saturday morning. “The BMW race ended early unfortunately,” Simpson reported. “I was hit from behind towards the end of the race which resulted in left rear suspension being bent.
“It was a pity because Michael had driven a fantastic opening stint overtaking a lot of cars and setting some very good lap times.” Simpson heads to Belle Isle in Detroit next for the Chevrolet Classic 2-3 June.
IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Series - Austin Results
1. Jordan Taylor/Ricky Taylor Cadillac DPi 73 laps
2. Dane Cameron/Eric Curran Cadillac DPi 73 laps
3. Christian Fittipaldi/Joao Barbosa Cadillac DPi 73 laps
4. Stephen Simpson/Mikhail Goikhberg ORECA LMP2 73 laps
5. Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek Nissan DPi 72 laps
6. James French/Patricio O’Ward ORECA LMP2 72 laps