JDC-Miller MotorSports finishes 8th with their Porsche 963 GTP at the Detroit Grand Prix

June 3, 2024

Savage, Minnesota

The JDC-Miller MotorSports team arrived at the Detroit Grand Prix feeling confident after a very productive test at Watkins Glen. While the two circuits could not be more different, the team was confident that what was learned at the test would make the JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 competitive. Unfortunately, what was learned at the test didn’t work on the narrow, bumpy, Detroit 1.654-mile street circuit. With only two practice sessions before qualifying, it proved difficult to make up time on the very competitive GTP field. 

The late Friday afternoon qualifying session put the 85 Porsche 9th on the grid for Saturday’s 100 minute race.

Tijmen van der Helm drove the first stint moving the car into 8th. He worked his way up as high as 5th before coming in for fuel and the required driver change.  The crew had an outstanding pit stop and driver change to Richard Westbrook who settled in running in 8th. A competitor’s unfortunate move in turn 1 spun the 85, blocking the track. Westbrook was able to continue but had considerable damage to the rear of the car and pitted for repairs. This resulted in the 85 falling a lap down and ultimately having to settle for an 8th place finish.

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“The Detroit street circuit proved to be another challenging race for us. We left a bit banged and bruised, but with our heads held high as we headed to Watkins Glen for the 6-hour race.”

Tijmen van der Helm, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I am pleased with my driving this weekend. This was a very difficult track to get up to speed on and only my second street race. Richard and the team have been excellent in helping me get up to speed. I was able to take my experience from Long Beach and build on it here. I can’t say at this point I am a fan of this kind of racing, but it has been rewarding to learn what it takes. Not sure this track lends itself well to GTP cars. Probably every car had some damage.”

Richard Westbrook, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“It’s hard for me to come up with anything positive. To be honest, the track is not suitable for racing with prototypes in the top GTP class. It was like being in a bumper car. The damage to the vehicles worsened lap by lap. It was unacceptable – simply unacceptable. I found it frustrating. I have such fond memories of the times we competed on the beautiful Belle Isle in Detroit. I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen – now that’s a great circuit.”