(August 29, 2010) — ORBIT / Paul Miller Racing dominated the GTC class in American Le Mans Series competition at Mosport International Raceway on Sunday, but a hit from a prototype car took the team’s No. 48 Marquis Jet / GPR Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car out of the race.
Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., started from the GTC pole position, after setting a class qualifying record on the 2.709-mile road course in Bowmanville, Ont. He led every lap through his 73-minute stint. Luke Hines of Essex, England, then took the wheel and increased the lead to 29 seconds. Just before the two-hour mark of the planned two-hour 45-minute race, a prototype car hit Hines, slamming him into the safety barrier. The race was red-flagged to attempt repairs to the barrier, but they could not be completed in a timely manner, so the race ended at 2h19.
The early finish was a tough blow to the ORBIT / Paul Miller Racing crew, who had to rebuild the race car on Tuesday, repairing extensive damage from a high-speed crash when another car forced Miller off track during the ALMS race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Aug. 22. When the car’s engine broke during practice on Friday, the team borrowed another engine from a local GT3 Cup competitor and the crew again worked late, to be ready for Saturday qualifying. The crew will now have to rebuild the car for the final race of the 2010 ALMS season, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., on Oct. 2.
Luke Hines: “I saw the No. 8 Drayson car coming and I moved over to the left as far as I could and gave him plenty of room, yet he hit me anyway. The team worked so hard to give us a competitive car and we were headed for the win. It’s too bad it had to end that way. In GTC, we are responsible for staying out of the way, but the faster cars have a responsibility as well, and I don’t feel that the other driver took that responsibility as seriously as he should have.”
Bryce Miller: “This is disheartening because we were positioned for our first win today. The team has a lot to be proud of for their gargantuan efforts to deliver a winning car under all our recent adversity. It has certainly been our best performance so far. The TV broadcast captures Luke as the innocent bystander to what appeared to be a terribly misjudged overtaking maneuver with disastrous consequences for our team. I am really glad he is okay; he withstood an enormous impact. We will learn from those things we were in control of and apply them at Petit Le Mans, but otherwise this race was meant to be ours.”
time driver action
1h13 change pit – Hines in, four tires, fuel
1h59 Hines hit off track, Mario Andretti Straightaway
Bryce Miller and Luke Hines compete with the support of four international sponsors. Marquis Jet is the recognized leader in private jet cards because it’s the only program that offers exclusive access to NetJets – the gold standard in private aviation – 25 hours at a time. Grand Prix Racewear is a respected supplier of motorsport protective clothing and driver accessories, based at Silverstone Circuit in England. The company offers worldwide delivery of 15,000 product lines. IPC Information Systems is a leading provider of mission-critical communications solutions to financial services firms. TOTAL Lubricants is the world’s fourth-largest publicly traded integrated international oil and gas company.