JDC MOTORSPORTS LEAVES OHIO SECOND IN F2000 CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT Chris Miller adds to podium totals with career best second at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course LEXINGTON, OH (July 13, 2008) -- JDC MotorSports further established itself as a title ...
JDC MOTORSPORTS LEAVES OHIO SECOND IN F2000 CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT
Chris Miller adds to podium totals with career best second at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
LEXINGTON, OH (July 13, 2008) -- JDC MotorSports further established itself as a title contender in the highly competitive F2000 Championship Series Presented by Hoosier Racing Tire over the weekend (July 12-13), earning its third podium finish of the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Rookie standout Chris Miller moved into second in the championship fight with a career best second place in Round Seven, followed by a top-10 result in Round Eight. Fellow JDC rookie Juan Pfeiffer showed good speed throughout the weekend, however, a pair of incidents prevented the Columbian from earning a top finish.
The JDC MotorSports drivers and crew entered the fourth event of the F2000 Championship campaign having recently completed a highly successful test near its home base in Minnesota. The extra seat time certainly appeared to pay off, as both Miller (4th) and Pfeiffer (10th) were among the top-10 in pre-event testing. Aware that finding the right set-up would be crucial at the technically-demanding road course in central Ohio, the duo continued to show good pace in both Friday practice sessions, with Miller turning the third quickest time in the afternoon session and Pfeiffer 10th quickest in the morning outing.
Returning to the Mid-Ohio road course, day two of the three-day event commenced with a 25-minute qualifying session to determine the grid for the race one of the doubleheader later in the day. Piloting the No. 85 Miller Milling/Redline Oil/JDC MotorSports, Miller was among the leaders on the timing charts throughout the session, taking the checkered flag third overall, earning a second-row starting position. Pfeiffer posted his quickest time to date at the demanding road course and was classified 13th at the conclusion of the session.
After an afternoon rain shower washed away the built-up rubber and grip, the green flag for Round Seven witnessed Miller holding station in third place and Pfeiffer advancing multiple positions, having avoided a multi-car incident in the first turn. Unfortunately, before either JDC drivers could get into a rhythm, the safety car was sent on-course. Following the several laps of low speed circulation of the Mid-Ohio track, the race resumed with mixed results for the two talented rookie pilots. Miller timed the green flag to perfection, moving into second via a daring outside pass in turn one. Pfeiffer's race, however, came to an abrupt and dramatic end near the end of the backstraight. Immediately following a high-speed collision between the third and fourth placed cars, the Columbian was struck from behind, sending him into the concrete wall and another damaged car. With his teammate's car laying at the side of the road severely damaged, Miller circulated behind the safety for multiple laps, before holding off the advances of third place in the final restart. Taking the checkered flag in a career best second place, Miller earned his third podium finish of the season.
Following a long night of repairs by the hard working JDC crew, the second qualifying session of the event on Sunday morning witnessed both Miller and Pfeiffer taking to the track. Thanks to a heavy rain shower just prior to the 25-minute session, the grip level proved to be less than ideal., Behind the wheel of the No. 86 Miller Milling/Redline Oil JDC MotorSports car, Pfeiffer seemed to relish the conditions, posting the fourth fastest time in the session, which was stopped multiple times. Things did not go as well for Miller, as he failed to crack the top-20 for the first time in his young F2000 career, turning the 23rd quickest time.
Come race time later in the day, the conditions were much different, with sunny skies and warm temperatures greeting the drivers. Making the most of the improved grip levels, Pfeiffer got away cleanly at the waving of the green flag, holding off the advances of several drivers to retain fourth place. Well behind, Miller was on a charge, passing numerous cars as he rapidly worked his way towards the front of the field. Unfortunately for Pfeiffer, his chances of a top-finish ended prior to midway point of the 13-lap affair, when he slid off-course exiting the high-speed turn one. Rejoining the race two laps down, Pfeiffer was classified a disappointing 31st at the checkered flag. Miller advanced an impressive 15 positions, crossing the stripe in eighth, showcasing his traffic management skills on a track that is difficult to pass on. The Minnesota native has finished within the top-10 in every round thus far and left Ohio sitting second in the championship fight, 40 points clear of third place.
"Mid Ohio was a successful event for us, as we achieved our best result to date and salvaged valuable points on Sunday from a difficult qualifying session," commented Miller. "Sitting second in the championship, I'm really looking forward to Road America, which will be the first time this season that we go to a track that I have previously driven on. JDC has given me a great car all season and we are focused on continuing to score points and getting our first win."
"Coming to Mid Ohio, we had high expectations of having some great results and getting some quality points in the championship, but luck was not with us this weekend," commented Pfeiffer. "After encountering some problems in the opening qualifying session, things went from bad to worse in the opening race, as I suffered my first DNF of the season following a big crash. Fortunately, thanks to great effort by the team, I was able to get back behind the wheel on Sunday. Things seemed to have turned around in qualifying, as I was able to showcase my rain skills, qualifying fourth for the afternoon race. When the action got underway I was running well, maintaining my starting position, when I suddenly lost the back end of my car in turn one and slid into the gravel trap. The goal now is to put this weekend behind us, and start thinking about Road America, where we should do very good."
Miller and Pfeiffer will now have three-week break before returning to the cockpits on August 2-3 for Rounds 9 and 10 of the F2000 Championship Series at the famed Road America road course in Wisconsin. One week prior, JDC MotorSports continues the defense of its Star Mazda Championship title, with two races at Portland International Raceway.