BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 8, 2016) – Paul Miller Racing and team drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow are hoping to pair-up the team’s recent strong race performances with some good luck this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
Formerly known as “Mosport,” the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park round is the sixth of 11 races in this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) Championship and can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) this Sunday, July 10, at 11 a.m. EDT.
In its first year with both the top driver pairing of Sellers and Snow and the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Paul Miller Racing’s best races of the season have been the last two rounds at Detroit in June and last weekend at Watkins Glen.
All the team needs now is some good luck to go with the strong showings.
“We have had two straight races where we have had speed but have had issues take us out of contention,” Sellers said. “It’s difficult at this stage to predict the cars capabilities at tracks but I think we should be strong. We lack a little aero which will make the high speed corners at Mosport difficult, but we have very little drag, so the long straight will be good for us.”
Sellers won the pole and led the first 15 laps of the Detroit race before a handling bobble on a restart knocked the No. 48 from contention and to an eventual eighth-place finish.
In last Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Snow started and raced as high as third in the opening stages of the race only to have a pair of early tire blowouts ruin the No. 48 team’s day.
Damage to the Lamborghini’s differential from the incidents required a time-draining gearbox change, and – after Sellers did a couple of exploratory laps – the team wisely decided to retire the No. 48 in the closing stages of the race when no improvement on finishing position could be gained.
“We had a really quick car at The Glen, and the setup was the best we had yet,” Snow said. “Performance wise, we will start with where we finished off at The Glen, so we should be pretty solid for Mosport. We will just have to wait until the race to see where our car is better than the others though.”
Fast and tricky, Mosport can be a challenge to master, but both Paul Miller Racing drivers love trying on a circuit that is a universal favorite.
“I like the difficulty and physicality of Mosport,” Sellers said. “It is very difficult to get a fast lap there. You have to push very hard and take a lot of chances to do a good number. That makes it difficult for an entire stint. The cars balance is very important at this race.”
A smooth lap around the 2.459-mile course is usually a fast one at Mosport.
“This track has really good flow to it,” Snow said. “It’s a really high-speed track like The Glen, which rewards smooth driving. I have had a lot of fun races here in my past so I am hoping this weekend will just add to that.”
Mosport follows The Glen as the second and final round of the 2016 season’s only back-to-back weekend stretch of races.
“I like the back to back races from a driver’s perspective,” Sellers said. “It allows you to stay in race mode and have some instant gratification on the changes between the two races.
“I think it is, however, very difficult on the crew. They have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time and quite often are away from their families for the duration. They are without question the unsung heroes in these types of stretches.”
A full three-day event weekend, the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park schedule begins today, Friday, July 8, with a pair of one-hour practice sessions at 10:35 a.m. EDT and 2:55 p.m. EDT.
A final one-hour practice session is set for Saturday at 10:10 a.m. EDT with GTD qualifying that afternoon at 3:40 p.m. EDT.
Race-day Sunday starts with a 20-minute warm-up at 8 a.m. EDT with the featured two-hour and 40-minute race scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. EDT.
– One of the highlights of Snow’s accomplished but still young motorsports career came at Mosport in 2013 during his championship-winning IMSA GT3 Platinum Cup season. At just 17, Snow tussled with Angel Benitez Jr. for the title all year and their closest battle came at Mosport. Rounding the final corner on the front stretch, Snow came from behind to edge Benitez for the win in a photo finish, just 11 one-hundredths of a second ahead. “We were bumper to bumper with no one else around us,” Snow said. “I started out in the front, Benitez passed me mid-race and we continued until the last lap when I got him back on the front straight.”
– Sellers is usually on pace at Mosport but seeks the same turn of fortune at the Canadian track that Paul Miller Racing is looking for in its 2016 season. “I have had a lot of promising races at Mosport where we had speed and position but have just always failed to convert them,” Sellers said. “I hope this weekend changes that trend and gets things moving in the right direction.”