Vautier, Duval Return to Mustang Sampling Entry, Joined by Westbrook, Keating
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – JDC-Miller MotorSports is returning to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2022 with the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R that won this year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March.
Tristan Vautier resumes his fulltime driver role next season, with Loic Duval shifting from a full-season co-driver to joining the team for the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds. Richard Westbrook, a 16-time IMSA race winner, will drive alongside Vautier for the entire 2022 season. Ben Keating, the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) champion this year in the WeatherTech Championship, was named the team’s fourth driver for the Rolex 24 At Daytona that opens the season next month.
“It’s great to have Loic and Tristan back for 2022, and we welcome Richard and Ben to the program,” said John Church, managing partner of JDC-Miller MotorSports. “2021 was a challenging year for us. We were super competitive at Daytona until we had contact, then we bounced back and won the race at Sebring but after that we got a little unlucky at several of the races. We know we had the speed but just never got the results.
“We had an opportunity to test Richard earlier this year and we feel he is the perfect fit for our program to partner with Tristan and Loic for next year and in the future. The continuity we have with Loic will prove valuable, and with his previous commitments for a WEC program in 2022, he was the obvious choice for the endurance rounds of the Michelin Endurance Cup in 2022. Ben has proven more than once that he is up to the task of running on this level. Not only is he the current 2021 IMSA LMP2 champion, but he has done so many 24-hour races in the past that he will be a valuable addition to the lineup when we get to Daytona in January.”
The No. 5 Cadillac finished sixth in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) standings this year, with one podium finish – third place at Long Beach – in addition to the Sebring victory. Westbrook, who last raced a prototype in 2015, is excited at the prospect of returning to the class in 2022.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to help this team move forward into 2022 after they had some strong races last year,” said Westbrook, who was part of the Ford GT program in the GT Le Mans class from 2016-19, the last time he competed fulltime in the WeatherTech Championship. “Last time I raced in the top class in IMSA, we narrowly missed out on the title going into Petit Le Mans in 2015, so I feel I have a lot of unfinished business to take care of.
“I tested with the team back in October in Atlanta,” the 46-year-old from London added, “and I felt Tristan was someone I could really work with. He has a lot of pace and knows the car and team well. Having Loic here for the rounds of the Michelin Endurance Cup is a huge plus; he’s one of the best in the business so I feel we have a top lineup.”
Vautier joined JDC-Miller in 2019, with the win this year at Sebring marking his first WeatherTech Championship victory.
“Thanks to the team for their continued trust,” the 32-year-old Frenchman said. “It feels great to be going into our fourth year together in the Cadillac DPi-V.R. I really look forward to partnering with Loic again, and a very warm welcome to Richard and Ben.
“This year was made of very high highs and some tough races as well for us, and the goal next year will be to be right there on every weekend. The competition will be even tougher and that’s how we want it. That’s why we’re here, fighting at the top of sports car racing.”
The 2022 season opens with the historic 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30. It’s preceded by The Roar Before the Rolex 24 from Jan. 21-23 with testing for all series entries and a qualifying race on the final day that sets the starting grid for the 24-hour race the following weekend. Tickets for both weekends are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.