January 22, 2024
JDC-Miller MotorSports qualified their Porsche 963 GTP in the 9th position for the first qualifying session of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season. Tijmen van der Helm turned a 1:33.506 which was .85 seconds off the pole position averaging 137.060 MPH. Conditions for qualifying were close to ideal with cool sunny weather and a strong breeze down the front straight and a headwind going into the bus-stop. All nine GTP qualifiers bested the previous overall prototype track record of 1:33.685 set by Oliver Jarvis in a Mazda DPi in 2019.
The team did a huge amount of work on the car in the days leading up to qualifying. These efforts came together on Saturday when Richard Westbrook was second fastest overall in Session 3 and Phil Hanson fastest overall in Session 4. Conditions for night practice were not optimum for lap-times so Hanson’s fast time held overnight.
Van der Helm, using extra caution in bringing the tires up to temperature and pressure due to the low ambient temperatures, turned his fastest on lap 7.
John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85
“We are very happy with where we are in regard to being prepared for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. To be only 8 tenths off an all-time track record puts us in a very good place as we prepare for the race. All the other teams have been working very hard as well so it’s going to be a great race.”
Rick Cameron, Chief Engineer, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85
“We ran to our plan. We don’t do special qualifying set-ups for a flyer lap that some teams do. Our goal is to put the fastest set-up we know how to do that gives the driver a fast car that he can work with. Tijmen did a great job adjusting to the conditions and turned a phenomenal lap.”
Tijmen van der Helm, Driver, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85
“I knew going into qualy that we had a fast car. The team had done great work which Richard and Phil proved on Saturday afternoon. They put some pressure on me to get at least as much out of the car as they had. It was fun to see the kind of lap times we all ended up running. I’m really looking forward to the race!”
Richard Westbrook, Driver, JDC-Miller MotorSports #85
“Tijmen did a great job qualifying the really solid car the team gave him. I’m very pleased with our progress so far. This team has a lot of experience from top to bottom. Our driver line-up is very good. Both Tijmen and Phil have done this race twice before and what can you say about Ben Keating. Very fast and this is his 14th Rolex 24. Also running in LMP2 and put that car on the pole. Amazing guy.”