“Red Dragon” Of JDC-Miller Motorsports Romps At The Glen

Winning "Red Dragon" leads two others through the famed Boot. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Winning “Red Dragon” leads two others through the famed Boot. [Joe Jennings Photo]


By Joe Jennings

Watkins Glen, N. Y.  – On an oppressively hot day, drivers Stephen Simpson, Misha Goikhberg and Chris Miller were equally hot as they pushed their JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA LMP2 to victory in the Sahlen’s Six-Hours of The Glen, the sixth race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

Making it special, their win was the first since gaining sponsorship from Gainsco Auto Insurance, which meant the familiar No. 99 “Red Dragon” was back in the winner’s circle.

With Simpson behind the wheel on a restart with approximately 30 minutes to go, the new U. S. citizen was sitting third behind Renger Van Der Zande and Juan Pablo Montoya.  At the drop of the green flag, the latter two battled for the lead and were running side-by-side down the backstretch until Simpson blew by them both to take over the lead and the eventual victory.

“What is special about this win is that it is our first overall win as a team and our first since gaining Gainsco as a sponsor,” noted Simpson.  “What makes it even more special is that on Friday we weren’t very good and just a little better on Saturday.”

Regarding the pass for the lead, Simpson said, “I saw them going at it quite nicely and they slowed each other down just enough that I got a good run.  I think I was on the grass a little bit.”

The winning team covered 202 laps around the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International road course.

In the final laps, the pole winning CORE Autosport ORECA LMP2 moved rapidly forward, nipping Montoya’s Acura Team Penske at the finish line and taking second place.

Although the Team Penske Acura finished third, the duo led a race-high 124 laps.

The CORE drivers were Romain Dumas, Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett. In a pre-race strategy move, pole-winner Braun yielded his seat to Bennett for the start, a switch that pushed their car to the rear of the Prototype field.

Fourth place went to the United Autosports LMP2 entry of Paul Di Resta, Phil Hanson and Bruno Senna.

Van Der Zende and Jordan Taylor held on for fifth in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi.

Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand took the GTLM class victory in the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT.

Second in class was the Corvette Racing machine of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia with third going to the Porsche 911 of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet.

The GTD victory went to the Turner Motorsport BMW M6 of Don Yount, Dillon Machavem and Markus Palttala.




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