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JDC-Miller Breaks Through for First Win at Watkins Glen

Daring late-race pass gives Stephen Simpson, JDC-Miller first Prototype win…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

A daring three-wide pass for the lead by Stephen Simpson has given JDC-Miller Motorsports a breakthrough first overall victory in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

Simpson took his GAINSCO-sponsored Oreca 07 Gibson to a 1.954-second win over the No. 54 CORE autosport Oreca of Romain Dumas, following a late-race yellow that shook up the running order.

Debris from the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS saw Colin Braun’s lead neutralized in the final hour when the leaders all made their final round of pit stops under yellow.

While a fuel-only stop put Jordan Taylor out front, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R lost the lead to the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 on the restart with 36 minutes to go.

However, Simpson took the top spot two corners later, getting around the pair of DPis on the back straight, and extended his lead in the closing minutes of the action-packed six-hour contest.

It marked the first overall win for the Minnesota-based team and first for a LMP2 car since Spirit of Daytona Racing’s triumph at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca last year.

Simpson shared the winning ‘Red Dragon’ Oreca with Silver-rated drivers Misha Goikhberg and Chris Miller.

Montoya and co-driver Dane Cameron, who led the majority of the race, were forced to settle for third after Dumas edged out the Colombian at the line.

Dumas charged from eighth on the final restart following a slow driver change on the final pit stop.

Nonetheless, it marked a podium lockout for Oreca-built machinery and the first 1-2 finish for LMP2 cars in the new-look Prototype era.

The No. 32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson was fourth, after losing time during its second-to-last stop to clear debris from the car’s rear deck after contact from Braun.

Paul Di Resta, who inherited the pole after Braun’s CORE Oreca started from the rear after electing to change starting drivers to team owner Jon Bennett, took the final restart in seventh.

Taylor, meanwhile, faded to fifth at the line as the best of the Cadillac DPis. 

The pair of Action Express Racing Cadillac DPis, which entered the weekend tied for the championship lead, were sixth and seventh, ahead of the the No. 85 JDC-Miller Oreca.

Gearbox issues relegated the No. 7 Penske Acura DPi to a 12th place finish overall, while both of the Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis retired with engine failure.

The No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P was 10th although the No. 77 car, which was rebuilt following an airborne accident in final practice on Saturday, battled electrical issues and stopped on track in the closing minutes.

RESULTS: 6H Watkins Glen

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Tom Sawyer

    July 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Great race!

  2. good race

    July 1, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    now the DPis will get 100 more hp

    • Jack

      July 1, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      Acura won’t. Caddy will get a little power, no clue about the Nissan or Mazda, but this track is a bit of an oddity for dpi’s, if this track was the old glen the p2’s wouldn’t have been close, it’s just cause the dpi’s couldn’t take advantage of the suspension upgrades they have, but the p2’s could use the more power Imsa have them for the other tracks.

      • Larry

        July 1, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        Jack, IMSA didn’t give the P2s any more horsepower. They are not allowed to do any BOP on those cars at all.

        They have dinged back the DPis.

        As others have said, the Glen suited their configuration. Laguna won’t, not sure about CTMP.

        I will say that maybe IMSA should give back a little power to the Caddiracs, but not as much as Whine Taylor thinks.

        They are struggling a bit so it’s only fair to put them back on par.

        Not a fan at all, but prefer a level playing field, so to speak.

        • Jack

          July 1, 2018 at 10:36 pm

          you misunderstood what i said, the p2’s have more power than the dpi’s, imsa brought down the the dpi’s on power to make up for the advantage the dpi’s have in slow corners.

  3. Johannes275

    July 1, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    This race was truly incredible. Wheel to wheel fights in every class, and the LMP2s have made it! All around excellent race!

  4. bjones

    July 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Track is configured like European tracks, This allows the Gibson to breath and live at the top of its RPM range where its torque lives. Long sweeping corners allowing it to hunt at full song. The Oreca loves this.

  5. Zone

    July 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    GTLM is the only race in town . Good win for Ford both in the 6 hour Glen and the conti race on Saturday.

    • kv

      July 1, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      The GAINSCO RED DRAGON is back,can anyone save SPIRIT of DAYTONA ?

      • Spirit of Destruction Racing

        July 1, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        Well, at least Vautier didn’t completely wreck the car this time.

        • KV

          July 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

          GM MADE Vautier drive with SuperCruise switched on!

  6. Steven

    July 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Amazing redemption for these guys who lost the race last year from a lapped car. Awesome to see a small team like JDC-Miller get a well deserved win over the big guys.

  7. Zone

    July 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    ORECA LMP2 cars are the ugliest cars on the race track. Right up there with the Panos delta wing from years past.

    • Jack

      July 1, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      That’s the first time I’ve seen someone say the oreca was the ugly one.

    • DsgysGotNothingOnMyCargoPants

      July 2, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Blasphemy.
      Delta-Wang?
      You’re a troll.

  8. LimeGlen

    July 1, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    And what a finish for CORE, starting dead last and finishing second! Way to go Romain, Colin and Jon!!

    • Rus'L

      July 2, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      It’s a six hour endurance race. Going from last (which they chose to do after winning pole because they knew it didn’t matter in a six hour race) doesn’t impress me.

      The fact they were competitive impresses me. Not that the went last to first in a 16-car prototype field over six hours.

  9. FLB

    July 1, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    I wonder if the Mazdas being so much off the pace had to do with track temperatures? They were pretty quick at Mid Ohio, which was a rather cold weekend, IIRC.

    • Max

      July 1, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      The DPIs are down on power and the Riley has more drag than any other chassis to start with. It’s probably not going to have much of a chance here unless they’re given some power back.

    • Andres

      July 1, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Overlall the DPIs have around 150Hp less than the spec P2s due to BOP

      • Jack

        July 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm

        lol wut… more like 10-15….. 150 hahahahahaha

        • Andres

          July 2, 2018 at 9:43 pm

          Every manufacturer said they were around 150 HP down the LMP2 spec cars

    • It's incompetence

      July 9, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      At this point. Fuck off, Mazda.

  10. Mike CT

    July 1, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    This was the race of the season so far. Great battles, intense traffic, and very difficult conditions with the heat. And Kudos to Fox for broadcasting all 6 hours on one channel!

  11. Marcus Smith

    July 1, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Did I hear correctly during the broadcast that Jon Fogarty is the one behind the Gainsco sponsorship and the #99 on the JDC-Miller car?

  12. Dave Henrie

    July 2, 2018 at 2:34 am

    What Happened to Montoya at the last corner? He was several car lengths ahead of the 3rd place car, yet he was passed almost with ease. Did he let up? Or run out of fuel?

    • Doug P

      July 2, 2018 at 8:13 am

      I’d like to know as well. In the broadcast they were saying it doesn’t get the fuel mileage of the Gibsons and the Acura did pit first. And mid way through the last lap Montoya had slightly increased the gap, so perhaps fuel?

    • Rus'L

      July 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Another site reported the Acura “burped” due to low fuel coming out of the last turn on the last lap.

  13. Paul

    July 2, 2018 at 4:09 am

    Is the Land Audi unlucky, cursed or forever at odds with the stewards?

    • Peter Is Great

      July 2, 2018 at 6:36 am

      C.
      It’s all about Peter Baron.
      Staryucks Motorsports

      • Juan Pablo Marc Turcotte JMT

        July 2, 2018 at 6:46 pm

        Starworst Motorsports.

  14. Rus'L

    July 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Did anyone hear of an official high temperature?

    I know it didn’t reach the triple digits some forecasts predicted, but it was still a scorcher.

    Made spectating tough. But the good race made up for it.

  15. kv

    July 2, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    JDC/MILLER and SOD need to talk merger and run the Cadillac and ORECA!

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