IMSA Spotlight: Misha Goikhberg
Driver: No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson
With three top-five finishes to start the season, you and Stephen Simpson are in third in the championship. How have the results stacked up compared to your expectations before the season?
“We went into the season without any prior expectations and there were too many variables to make any kind of predictions. I just concentrate on my driving and don’t worry about anything else.
“But being genuinely disappointed at not being on the podium is still a good spot to be in. We want to get podium and then a win before becoming legitimate title contenders.”
What has been the most challenging aspect of the step up to the Prototype class?
“The competition is at a very high level, which I welcome as that forces you to raise your game. Another challenge is racing in an open but BoP’d class, which I don’t have any experience in.
“Other than that PC class was a great class to learn the ropes of racing at this level and I hope that other teams in PC are able to move up next year.
“I’d also like to say that IMSA has an amazing job with the Prototype class, this is an exciting time to be involved in prototype racing. I think this platform will grow in numbers over the next few years, as we have teams from Europe and the rest of the world looking to join.
“I also think using LMP2 machines as a baseline and adding manufacturer involvement is a great way to have a large competitive field and the racing is really close.”
What does it say about the team that in the first year in the class you are in the hunt with established Prototype teams?
“JDC-Miller is a small team currently punching above its weight. Soon I expect us to put on the weight but still punch above it. It’s a great organization that cut its teeth on the Road to Indy ladder system, and has been working towards this Prototype program for quite some time.
“[Team owner] John Church is exactly the type of owner that can do more with less, and it’s exciting to watch every one on the team grow and see what they can accomplish at this level.
“My co-drivers Stephen Simpson and Chris Miller have driven extremely fast and maturely, and it’s good for us to have continuity on the driver front carry over from last year.
“We are now a group of guys that have been driving together for a while which is of great help in endurance racing.”
You’ve been close to getting on the podium in the last two races, what will has the team been focusing on to help you get that breakthrough?
“We’re just really focusing on the task at hand. We are trying to extract the most out of the car, without taking any unnecessary risks. The car still has a lot of undiscovered potential, and we will undoubtedly get our podium soon.”
What hobbies do you have away from the race track?
“My hobbies include skiing, as it gives me a similar rush to racing with the serenity of being close to nature. But my life is consumed by my three main passions: my family, racing and my business ventures.”