DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – official series release — IMSA photo —
The BMW 228i will make its Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition debut in Saturday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
JDC-Miller Motorsports joins the series with a car specially equipped with hand controls for the two-hour, 30-minute race. Michael Johnson, a former open-wheel driver who has been paralyzed since being injured in a motorcycle race at age 12, will co-drive with 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona class winner Stephen Simpson in the yellow No. 54 Universal Coating BMW 228i.
The car will compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class.
“I’m super excited that it’s finally coming together,” said Johnson, a 23-year-old resident of Flint, Michigan. “I spent time with Stephen Simpson following his recent victory at Long Beach, and the team has a lot of good mojo going into the race. It’s fun to get back on the racetrack – my last race was last year at Mazda Raceway in Pro Mazda. It’s a fun track, and I always like going there.”
JDC-Miller Motorsports competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, currently leading the Prototype Challenge class with victories at Daytona and Long Beach.
The car is specialty-equipped with hand controls provided by GuidoSimplex. Due to Johnson being paralyzed from the waist down, his car has a sophisticated brake, gearshift, and throttle system — he presses a ring on the steering wheel forward to accelerate, then pulls another ring toward him to brake. The car was built by Burton Racing, the 2013 ST team champions.
CREDIT: IMSA Communications