Westbrook feeling at home with IMSA's DPi giant-killer

Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images

Westbrook feeling at home with IMSA's DPi giant-killer

IMSA

Westbrook feeling at home with IMSA's DPi giant-killer

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Richard Westbrook has driven for some of the biggest teams in the IMSA paddock. Among the fan-favorite programs, his name has graced factory entries from Corvette Racing and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, and on the flipside, he’s also enjoyed his time with smaller outfits like Spirit of Daytona, Matech Competition, Glickenhaus Racing, and other privateers that love nothing more than toppling the establishment.

Signed to the independent JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R team in 2022, ‘Westy’ is back in a comfortable place as he and full-season teammate Tristan Vautier are tasked with spoiling the plans of two Acura factory teams and their Cadillac stablemates at the Cadillac Racing team run by Chip Ganassi and the reigning DPi champions at Action Express Racing.

In fact, the JDC-Miller operation out of Savage, Minnesota, is the only non-factory entry in DPi, which doesn’t bother Westbrook in any way. After chasing the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 to the finish line during Sunday’s 100-minute qualifying race, he’s confident JDC’s No. 5 Cadillac is more than capable of playing a front-running role at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the rest of the stops on the tour.

“Coming back here in a prototype just felt like 2015 all over again with Spirit of Daytona, and since the Ford program concluded, I’m not gonna lie – I’ve really missed racing in the United States,” he told RACER. “This is my racing home, there’s no question about it, and I’ve been searching for a proper program that you can really get your teeth into, and that’s something that I’ve got to thank JDC and John Church, in particular, for getting me on board a program that I really want to be part of.

“We’ve just putting so much effort to improve our car in every little area. I think it showed in the qualifying race that the hard work is paying off. We certainly didn’t have a quickest car, but we were racing at the front, obviously, and Tristan did a fantastic job as well. I haven’t had a lot of time in the car before last weekend, and I’ve got to learn quickly, find the limits of the car and find the limits of the traffic as well. The qualifying race was a great learning curve for me.”

Considering how the team reached its highest achievement in March with an overall win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the JDC-Miller squad has proven itself to be capable of major upsets. Westy, Vautier, Loic Duval and Ben Keating will start second when the green flag waves on Saturday.

“You could use excuses if results don’t go your way and could say, ‘Well, hang on, the other DPi teams are all factories with big support,’ but I don’t see it that way at all,” he said. “The way I see it, we have a Cadillac DPi, just the same as Chip Ganassi does, just the same as Action Express does, and it’s what you do with it that makes the difference.

“We’ve definitely got the right guys here. Yes, we’re a small team, that’s no secret, but there’s a lot of talent here. We all know how good the car is, so we’re working more on unlocking its potential. I try and look at it as a positive thing, and we have support from (chassis supplier) Dallara and we get good support from GM. The way I see it, we’ve got everything we need to have a really good year. This team won Sebring, so they can do it. We’ve just got to make sure we do it on a consistent basis now.”

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