Round 7 of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance®/ORECA/Gibson
Stephen Simpson/Misha Goikhberg/Chris Miller
July 6-8, 2018
Racetrack: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
2.459-mile permanent road course features 10 turns
Race: Sunday, July 8, 2018 2:05pm ET
LIVE TV: Fox Sports on Sunday, July 8 live at 4:00pm ET
Radio/Web: www.IMSA.com – All sessions LIVE
Race Winners: The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance®/ORECA/Gibson won the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen last Sunday. Stephen Simpson made a late race pass on Juan Pablo Montoya and Jordan Taylor to earn the team’s first overall victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Simpson, Misha Goikhberg and endurance race teammate Chris Miller have raced as a team for five years with JDC-Miller Motorsports. They won the Rolex 24 and finished second in the PC Championship in 2016 prior to making the jump to the P category, North America’s highest level of sports car competition in 2017. They earned two podium finishes, finishing second at Watkins Glen and MoSport en route to their fourth-place finish in the series championship, becoming the most successful ‘privateer’ (non-factory related) team.
Championship Picture: The Red Dragon™ jumped to fifth in the 2018 IMSA championship standings after Sunday’s victory at The Glen. With 150 points, Simpson and Goikhberg are just six points behind the two-way tie between the #6 Penske/Acura and the #10 WTR/Cadillac for third.
Home Track: The Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix is Misha Goikhberg’s home race and CTMP is Misha’s favorite race track. He resides outside of Toronto, just 45 minutes from the track. Misha’s wife Kay just graduated from medical school and is serving her residency in Toronto.
Rewind: In his rookie season in 2017, Goikhberg narrowly missed the pole position in qualifying at CTMP, driving the #85 “Banana Boat”. Goikhberg and Simpson battled for the podium throughout the intermittent wet race and finished second.
The Monkey Is Free: All three drivers of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance/ORECA talked about the relief of scoring a victory for the loyal fans of The Red Dragon. Misha Goikhberg commented: “Every weekend whether we are at the track or at a restaurant, fans come and tell us how happy they are The Red Dragon is back in IMSA competition. It’s an honor for us to drive a car with such a winning legacy, but with it comes a lot of pressure and it almost felt like a monkey on our back. Not a bad thing, just pressure to perform for these faithful fans. Now, with the victory behind us, it is a relief, and we can be proud and continue the winning legacy with a new chapter for The Red Dragon.
Misha Goikhberg on Canadian Tire Motorsports Track: “This is my favorite track. It is high speed and high commitment, two characteristics that I appreciate. I love the changes in elevation, the fast corners, the almost blind corner at the star;, it has it all. It’s also home for me, so that makes it extra special. We’ll have 50 or so friends and family this weekend and coming off the win at Watkins it should be extra exciting. This was our best race overall last year and I believe we should be just as successful returning with the No. 99 Red Dragon this weekend, maybe even one position better!”
Stephen Simpson on the back-to-back race events: “It’s been a great week coming off such a momentous race win for our team and for GAINSCO Auto Insurance. It’s been a busy week – we were back on track at Watkins on Monday for a tire test. I made a quick trip home and arrived in Canada last night. The celebration was sweet but short and now we are ready to take that momentum into another one of our best tracks here at MoSport. We were very competitive here last year; this type of track really suits the LMP2 and I think it should be the same for us this year. This is Misha’s track; he could race it with his eyes closed. It can be challenging to set the car up here, but we have a very good baseline to work from. We are ready to go!”