The Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway
No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance®/JDC-Miller MotorSports/ORECA/Gibson
2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
January 8, 2018
Fans at Daytona International Speedway and around the world on social media gave the Red Dragon™ a warm welcome back to endurance racing this weekend at the “Roar Before the Rolex 24.” GAINSCO Auto Insurance recently announced their partnership with JDC-Miller MotorSports, which saw their return to endurance racing and the Rolex 24 Hours At DAYTONA.
The famous No. 99 Red Dragon livery was unveiled last Thursday at the Speedway by Stephen Simpson and Chris Miller, two of the four GAINSCO drivers who will be racing the 600 hp beast this season. “It’s an unbelievable honor. I grew up watching and cheering for the Red Dragon and to actually get to be a GAINSCO driver is a dream come true,” said Miller.
The three-day practice session known as “The Roar Before the Rolex 24” gives the teams an opportunity to shake-down their equipment prior to the Rolex 24 Hours At DAYTONA, which happens also to be the first race of the season. The grueling 24-hour race is a test of the team and its preparation in addition to the reliability challenges the racecar takes racing 24 hours straight. Most of the track time during the practice sessions were used to find the best set-up for the car. The Rolex 24-hour race is unique in that it is the only race of the season where four different drivers will team up to drive the Red Dragon. Adding extra drivers to the mix also adds to the challenge of finding the most competitive set-up or finding the best balance to the car, as every driver has a different driving style or approach to finding the fastest way around the racetrack. They must work together and compromise to maximize the car’s handling characteristics. Stephen Simpson commented, “It was fantastic to be back at Daytona and debut the GAINSCO Auto Insurance/JDC-Miller MotorSports No. 99 at the Roar this past weekend. The team did a great job and we made good progress with the car. All four of us drivers worked together with our engineer Walter Preston to make sure we have a good race set-up. I’m confident the Red Dragon will be running strongly at the sharp end of the field at this prestigious event.”
This year the IMSA Series added a qualifying session to the Roar Before the 24 event. This session determined the garage and pit assignments for the Rolex 24 which is just three weeks away, January 26 – 28th. These assignments are important because the garages located closest to the pitlane have an advantage should an incident occur during the race that requires repair in the garage. The pit locations are important as the pit boxes located closest to the exit of pit lane typically have an advantage with entry and exit. It is not uncommon for teams located in the middle of pit lane to lose time during pit stops due to traffic in the pit lane with cars entering and exiting around them.
Stephen Simpson (South Africa) and Misha Goikhberg (Russia) are the team’s primary drivers. Chris Miller (USA) is the team’s third driver for the endurance races (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit LeMans). Gustavo Menenzes (USA) joins the team for Daytona. Follow our Facebook page (GAINSCO Racing) and www.gainscoracing.com to learn more about our talented lineup. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona will air live on www.imsa.com and on FoxSports.
Practice 1: 7th 1:38.182
Practice 2: 8th 1:38.132
Practice 3: 5th 1:37.739
Practice 4: 8th
Practice 5: 14th 1:38.204
Practice 6: 15th 1:38.896
Practice 7: 13th 1:37.977
Qualifying: 11th 1:37.331
About GAINSCO, Inc. GAINSCO, Inc. is a U.S. holding company specializing in automobile insurance, automotive sales and service, auto racing and investments. GAINSCO was established in 1978 as a Texas corporation and is based in Dallas, Texas, with a regional office in Miami, Florida. GAINSCO’s insurance company subsidiary is MGA Insurance Company, Inc. As GAINSCO Inc.’s insurance brand, GAINSCO Auto Insurance® is the primary sponsor of the No.99 Red Dragon in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. GAINSCO distributes policies through a network of thousands of independent agents and digital marketplaces across the southern states. GAINSCO Auto Insurance uses its motorsports sponsorship and marketing campaign to build brand awareness and advance its distribution strategies.
About GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing™: Committed to excellence in road racing since its formation in 2001, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s legacy includes two Sports Car Championships, 16 victories and 31 pole positions in the Rolex Sports Car Series. Its legacy of all-star drivers includes Bob Stallings, two-time Daytona Prototype Champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, two-time IndyCar Champion Jimmy Vasser, GT Champion Darren Law, C.A.R.T. Champion Cristiano da Matta and celebrated American drivers Memo Gidley and Rocky Moran Jr. The team ceased operations after the 2017 season, opening the door to partner with JDC-Miller Motorsports in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. For more information, visit www.gainscoracing.com.