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JDC-Miller Motorsports expands IMSA program for 2017 with LMP2 car

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JDC-Miller Motorsports has announced that it will expand its racing program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2017 by entering the Prototype class with an ORECA 07 LMP2 car.

JDC-Miller Motorsports currently races in the Prototype Challenge class of the American endurance series, as well as fielding entries in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series and the IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites Series.

Here is the release in full from JDC-Miller Motorsports.

Current Prototype Challenge entrant JDC-Miller MotorSports announced it will add a Prototype class program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017 with an ORECA 07 LMP2 car, as part of its current IMSA programs.

Team co-owner John Church confirmed today that the Minneapolis-based squad will be on the grid with a 2017-spec ORECA 07 Gibson-powered LMP2 car in 2017.

JDC-Miller MotorSports currently fields the # 85 PC entry in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship along with the #54 ST car in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series. JDC MotorSports also operates a very successful multi-car entry in the IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites Series. The team won the season opening Rolex24 Hours of Daytona and the Long Beach Grand Prix in the PC class, and currently sits 3rd in the driver’s championship.

JDC-Miller will continue to run its current Prototype Challenge car in 2017 with the driver lineups for both programs to be finalized in the coming weeks. Current JDC-Miller MotorSports regulars Misha Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson and Chris Miller will remain with the team, but firm commitments to either program have not been confirmed.

“All of our current drivers will be part of the new LMP2 program in some form in 2017 and beyond. Additionally, we obviously have great talents in our Mazda Prototype Lites program with Austin Versteeg and Clark Toppe who we would love to move into our recently announced P3 (PC1 class) program for 2017.” Church explained. “We have also had several conversations with a number of other potential drivers for the 2017 LMP2 program.”

With the confirmation for the LMP2 Prototype class program in 2017 and the recent announcement to field LMP3 spec Prototypes in the newly branded 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge championship, JDC MotorSports and JDC Miller MotorSports will run programs in all IMSA Prototype classes in 2017.

“This is a very exciting program for 2017 and we felt this was the right time to move into the P2 class. We are confident in Oreca and feel they share our vision and goals. We have had a very strong relationship with them over the past 3 years.” Church explained. “Clearly our long-term goal is to become part of a DPi manufacturer program in the future”, Church explained.

“We are delighted by the commitment of JDC-Miller MotorSports with the new ORECA 07 LM P2. We have a strong link with the team since several years and it is great to continue our cooperation with this new challenge. The team is involved in all the different classes of the endurance racing ladder, so it is a logical but important step. We will bring our experience to support JDC-Miller MotorSports and help them to fight at the front. It is an excising multiple-years project and we are glad to be part of it. We can’t wait to see the new ORECA 07 at Daytona.” ORECA Group president Hugues de Chaunac added.

JDC-Miller MotorSports is the first American team to announce its plan to run the new ORECA 07 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The target is to make the first U.S. test during the Daytona series test in December before continuing with private testing leading up to the Roar Daytona test in January.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).