Rob Bell and Tim Sugden Join Bryce Miller and Bryan Sellers to Form Powerhouse Paul Miller Racing Lineup for Rolex 24 At Daytona
Tim Sugden and Rob Bell are the latest additions to Paul Miller Racing’s No. 48 Marquis Jet Porsche GT3 that was tested at Homestead by Bryce Miller earlier this month.
PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The No. 48 Marquis Jet/Paul Miller Racing Porsche GT3 solidified its position among the top contenders for the GT class victory in the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona next month with today’s confirmation that accomplished UK sports car racers Tim Sugden and Rob Bell will join Bryce Miller and Bryan Sellers in the grueling endurance race.
Bell is a two-time Le Mans Series champion, while Sugden is the 2005 worldwide Porsche Cup champion and a veteran of the Rolex 24 and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Miller – the team’s lead driver – and Sellers, put the No. 48 Porsche through its testing paces earlier this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Miller, 28, and the team are planning a full schedule of racing in multiple series in 2011. Miller was the 2007 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 co-team champion as a rookie in 2007 and scored a victory at Virginia International Raceway with Farnbacher/Loles Racing Porsche GT3 co-driver and eventual series champ Dirk Werner. His second-place finish in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 in 2008’s season-opening Rolex 24, however, has made Miller well familiar with Daytona’s victory lane. The goal for next month’s race is to move up one spot on the top-three podium.
“When you come so close in a race like the Rolex 24 with a second-place finish, it makes you want to get the win even more,” Miller said. “I haven’t been as close in the last two Rolex 24s but I really believe the team and drivers we have in place this year can get the job done.”
Sellers, 28, finished third in the same 2008 Rolex 24 in which Miller finished second as a teammate and co-driver of the No. 67 TRG Porsche. He was encouraged with the PMR Porsche’s performance in the test at Homestead and feels that the team is well positioned for a strong run at Daytona.
“I feel like we did a pretty good job over the two days (in Homestead) and got a lot accomplished,” Sellers said. “There was a lot too be accomplished, and the car we are on is basically a re-tubbed and rebuilt car. We had to get an idea of what the new Continental Tire liked, and what it didn’t like, and kind of get a direction to take toward Daytona.”
Like Miller and Sellers, Sugden was also part of the 2008 Rolex 24 TRG lineup and came home fourth in the No. 64 Porsche GT3. He also is a former champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and teamed with Miller and Bell in a GT2 Aston Martin Vantage in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also co-drove with Bell in the 2008 and 2009 Le Mans events.
“The Rolex 24 is simply one of the great classics every driver dreams of winning at least once,” Sugden said. “My view is that this race is often lost by one driving mistake at 3 o’clock in the morning. If not, then one team error or small car problem ends the collective dream for another year. With this team and such a truly amazing driver lineup, we have no compromises, and every single thing has been done to try to eliminate that one error. I think with this group of individuals we are going to Daytona with a real chance of victory.”
Bell, 31, will be making his first appearance in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2011, but he brings an impressive racing resume which includes GT2 championships in the 2007 and 2008 LMS. He has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the past four years and made four GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series starts in 2006 in a SAMAX Porsche.
“The Rolex 24 is an iconic event and I can’t wait to get started,” Bell said. “Twenty-four hour races are the pinnacle of GT and sports car racing and challenge both car and driver to the limit. Porsche have proven the car has the pace and reliability to win. Along with Bryce, Tim and Bryan, I think we have a line up to match anyone. We are going there to win.”
Bryce Miller and Paul Miller Racing may add additional Rolex Series races to its 2011 schedule, while participating in some additional American and international sports car endurance races.
Next up for the No. 48 Marquis Jet/Paul Miller Racing Porsche GT3 team is the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 Test Days at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 7 – 9.