By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin — If it weren’t for bad luck, Robert Alon and the JDC/Miller Motorsports crew wouldn’t have had any luck as the No. 85 ORECA LMP2 machine went from leading early to eventually finishing 12th in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
After leading early, Alon pitted under the second full course yellow of the race. It was on that pit stop that he hit a tire from his teammate’s stall and was penalized with a drive-thru penalty.
“It was very close, there was a car behind me that ran long,” said Alon. “Like I think the (No. 51) Ferrari behind our pits ran long so I couldn’t really get in and then the red car kind of went right in front of me so I didn’t have much room. They didn’t push me back and I didn’t really want to lose all my positions so I tried to pivot the car, burnout and get out of there and I thought I cleared it but I guess that tire was just out there.”
After going through the pits, Alon then had to deal with contact from the No. 93 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 that just came out of the pits. Alon was braking before Canada Corner and the NSX hit Alon, turning him into the gravel trap.
After getting out of the gravel trap, Simon Trummer then took over at the next pit stop and drove the rest of the way to finish 12th, the first car one lap down. Despite the early time up front, materializing into a good finish was not in the cards for the No. 85 team, whose best finish so far this season was a sixth at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“It’s been frustrating all year,” said Alon. “But it’s much less frustrating than the beginning of the year when the BoP was way off and stuff like that and we couldn’t do anything with it. But I mean, we’re happy to be running at the front, we’re happy to be able to compete with the best guys in the world and yeah, it’s always frustrating to have things not go your way but you’ve got to keep the positives and move forward.”