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Cooling Issues Compromised JDC-Miller’s Chances

Richard Westbrook on JDC-Miller’s compromised strategy due to cockpit cooling issues…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Cooling issues prevented the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R from double stinting drivers towards the end of Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring according to Richard Westbrook.

Westbrook teamed with 2021 Sebring winners Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval for a runner-up finish in the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season after battling the eventual race-winning No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac of Earl Bamber.

The Englishman took over the lead on two occasions when Bamber suffered contact with cars on track, one incident which resulted in a drive-through penalty for the Kiwi.

However, Westbrook revealed post-race that the Mustang Sampling-sponsored Cadillac was compromised due to cockpit cooling issues that forced the Minnesota-based privateer squad to single-stint its drivers.

“We had some cooling issues in the car throughout the race so we could only single stint in the end,” Westbrook told Sportscar365.

“We think the cooling vents were blocked and they just got worse and worse.

“That’s all we could do — singles at the end. It was a shame because I think we had a car that was probably a little bit better than we showed.

“I found myself in the lead and I just got screwed by a Porsche in Turn 16 that was sort of driving off-line. I tried to go around the outside of him and I just went on the marbles and Earl was able to get me.

“That was the win that got away at that point.”

Following Westbrook’s single stint, Vautier took the car to the line, finishing 6.471 seconds behind Bamber.

“We’re really happy,” said Westbrook. “We were fighting at the front for the Twelve Hours of Sebring. This team is doing an incredible job this year.

“All in all, we’ll be happy with second. But on another day it could have been ours.

“The 02 was really fast today. I think they had everyone covered. Once he got past me that was it, it was always going to be difficult.”

Full-season Westbrook and Vautier have taken over the DPi championship lead as a result of their double-podium start to their WeatherTech Championship campaign.

“We gave it a good go,” Vautier said. “Man, I drove my heart out in the last stint. I thought I had him [Bamber] for a while, but a couple of bad breaks catching GT cars in Turns 3, 4 and 5.

“We had the pace. I think we can be proud of what we achieved.

“We’re the smallest team here. Two amazing solid races at Daytona and Sebring.

“The team did an amazing job again, and just thankful to Cadillac and JDC-Miller MotorSports. I feels good to know I left it all on the racetrack.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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