DETROIT (June 3, 2016) – Paul Miller Racing won its second-straight pole position for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park where team driver Bryan Sellers posted his first top-qualifying effort in the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition on Friday.
The pole was also the first for Lamborghini in its initial year of competition in IMSA’s GT Daytona (GTD) division. Sellers will join Paul Miller Racing co-driver Madison Snow and the No. 48 team in trying to give Lamborghini its first IMSA GTD race win in Saturday’s Sports Car Classic.
The 100-minute Sports Car Classic sprint can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The race is Round 4 of 10 for the GTD class in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Sellers twice posted the fast time in the opening laps of today’s 15-minute qualifying session before locking down the pole for good on his fifth lap with a top time of 1:31.340.
The pole went a long way in helping the Paul Miller Racing team shake off what has been a challenging season so far in the first three races of 2016.
“It’s good to come back, to bounce back, to have a good qualifying and give the guys some confidence and validation in what they’ve done and the time they’ve put in at the track,” Sellers said. “It’s cool because it’s a new program that’s all kind of coming together, progressing and getting better, and we’ll just keep working. It’s just one step of many for the rest of the weekend.”
Then team driver Dion Moltke won the 2015 IMSA GTD pole with Paul Miller Racing at Detroit and went on to finish third in the race with Christopher Haase. Sellers and Snow joined Paul Miller Racing as the team’s new co-drivers for 2016.
“It took us a while to figure out the car,” Snow said. “We were definitely near the bottom of the time sheets in some of the practice sessions, but then by the time qualifying came, we figured out what the car needed and how we were going to give that to it. Then Bryan was able to get out there and put down a good lap. It was great.”
A top-three finish Saturday would be the third-in-a-row for Paul Miller Racing at Detroit and a 2016-season-best result for the team.
“Our guys have worked very hard learning the car, developing the car and we tried a lot of different things today with a very fast-paced couple of sessions before qualifying,” Team Owner Paul Miller said. “We got the car very close and I’m proud of how well the team worked together to make a full series of changes on the car to get it in a nice operating window. We’re excited about today and it’s an uplifting situation for us. It’s a high for us because it’s the first real success we’ve tasted this year.”
As a first-year program, the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 has been a new experience for Paul Miller Racing this year.
“It’s a whole new situation,” said Team Manager Mitchell Simmons. “We learn things at every race but today we kind of pulled it out there at the end. It really came down to the amount of effort that Dave Fullerton put into the engineering and obviously the drivers. We’ve struggled all year trying to find this platform and we thought it would be a lot closer to the old car than it has been, so we’re just now really getting our feel with this platform, and I think the results are starting to show. We’re still not where we need to be, not competitive with the other cars, but I think a proper IMSA BOP will get us right back in the game.”
The shortest GTD race and event weekend on the 2016 schedule, Saturday’s Sports Car Classic begins with at 30-minute warm-up at 8 a.m. The featured 100-minute race on the 2.35-mile Motown street course is scheduled to start that afternoon at 12:40 p.m.