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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

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