PARSIPPANY, New Jersey (January 31, 2016) The Paul Miller Racing team’s luck changed dramatically in the 11th hour of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Madison Snow (Lehi, Utah), Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) and Bryce Miller (Summit, N.J.) all led the GTD class during the second quarter of the season-opening endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. Then a hit from another car sent the No. 48 Castrol/UIS Lamborghini Huracán GT3 to the garage for a lengthy repair.
Miller was behind the wheel when he was spun down the inside pit wall. He was unhurt, but the crew were forced to return to the garage to replace the car’s rear suspension, left-front toe link and rear bodywork. After a 96-minute stop, the team returned to the track 21st and 39 laps behind the class leader. Bryan Sellers (Atlanta) was driving at the halfpoint of the 24-hour race, 20th in class.
Mirko Bortolotti (after his stint): “We did a different strategy with this stint; we decided to go conservative with the tires. I’m quite happy with the balance of the car. We kept P1 for a long time and had quite a good lead, but all the safety car periods are packing up the group again and then it’s all gone. For now, I’m really happy we are there. The team are doing a great job.”
Bryce Miller: “It’s a real shame and it’s really unnecessary that our contention for this race is done at the halfway point. The other car really rammed into us; it wasn’t contact that you could attempt to recover from. I was committed to a full braking zone, pulling downshifts and setting up for turn one, and he came from a distance back and did a banzai maneuver. The contact he made with the left-rear corner was really significant, enough to completely spin the car down the inside pit wall. It really chewed the car up and we lost a lot of time in the garage. I feel really disheartened, I feel bad for the team and my co-drivers. This is going to be a really hard one to get over, knowing that we had such a good car.”
time driver GTD pos. action
6h05 Snow 1 class lead
6h50 change 1 pit – Snow out, Bortolotti in, fuel, tires
7h00 Bortolotti 1 class lead
7h45 1 pit – fuel, oil
8h43 change 2 pit – Bortolotti out, Miller in, fuel, tires
9h39 Miller 2 pit – fuel
10h14 1 class lead
10h16 change 2 contact, to garage, replaced rear suspension, left-front
toe link and rear bodywork; Miller out, Sellers in
11h52 Sellers 21 pit – fuel
Paul Miller Racing is a leading GTD team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team placed second in the 2014 IMSA series GTD standings and third in 2015.