Petit Le Mans puts Simp­son third in U.S.

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

SOUTH Africa’s U.S. IMSA PC star Stephen Simp­son ended his year on a high in spite of some chal­lenges at the series Petit Le Mans fi­nale at Road At­lanta in Ge­or­gia.

Simp­son, shar­ing with reg­u­lar team­mate Russo-Cana­dian Misha Goikhberg and U.S. driver Chris Miller, drove the JDC Miller Mo­tor­sports Hi-Tide Red Line Oreca Chevro­let to third in the WeatherTech Pro­to­type Chal­lenge race to wrap up third in the over­all 2016 WeatherTech Pro­to­type Chal­lenge cham­pi­onship. “It was good to fin­ish the sea­son with a podium at Petit Le Mans,” Stephen ad­mit­ted.

“We had a good car right out of the box in first prac­tice on Thurs­day and ended the ses­sion sec­ond, but af­ter that we ex­pe­ri­enced oil pres­sure is­sues that hin­dered us for the re­main­der of the week­end. That also meant that we had very lit­tle track time and quite hon­estly, we did not ex­pect that we would last very long in the race, but the old girl pulled through in the end.

“My team-mates did a great job and JDC Miller Mo­tor­sports were ex­cep­tional in ad­just­ing our race strat­egy to make the most of our sit­u­a­tion and get the car to the end — I was in the car for a long three-hour stint to fin­ish the race. Over­all it was a shame we weren’t able to fight for the win, but un­der the cir­cum­stances a third place fin­ish is a good end to our sea­son.

“It was a good year too,” Simp­son con­cluded. “We fin­ished third in the Pro­to­type Chal­lenge driv­ers cham­pi­onship and won twice and now JDC Miller Mo­tor­sports em­barks on a new chal­lenge with our new Oreca in the top IMSA Pro­to­type class.”

Simp­son and his team-mates won the sea­son-open­ing Rolex Day­tona 24 Hour in the PC class and he and reg­u­lar team-mate Goikhberg won again in Long Beach. JDC Miller are due to con­firm their driver line-up for their 2017 cam­paign with their new Oreca 07 LMP2 racer.

‘… quite hon­estly, we did not ex­pect that we would last very long in the race, but the old girl pulled through in the end.’

PHOTO: MOTORSPORT ME­DIA

SA driver Stephen Simp­son ended third over­all in the WeatherTech Pro­to­type Chal­lenge cham­pi­onship in the U.S.

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