One of Three Takeaways: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

June 24, 2024

By David Phillips from IMSA Wire Service

GTP Giant Killers Derailed

Another feel-good story that didn’t quite have a feel-good ending was that of JDC-Miller MotorSports’ weekend. Saturday went just about as well as could be hoped for the independent, Minnesota-based team. Round 5 of the 2024 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season saw Mikey Taylor and Chris Miller capture the Touring Car (TCR) class win in the No. 17 Unitronic-sponsored Audi RS3 LMS TCR – their fourth of the season. Shortly thereafter, Phil Hanson put the team’s No. 85 Porsche 963 GTP on the second row of the grid for the Sahlen’s Six Hours, outpacing the factory-backed Porsche Penske Motorsport 963s in the bargain.

If anything, Sunday’s race began on an even brighter note. Hanson picked his way through the top qualifiers to grab the lead overall by Lap 7. Along with co-drivers Tijmen van de Helm and Richard Westbrook, the team subsequently kept the bright yellow Porsche among the leaders for most of the race, stirring thoughts of a rare Michelin Pilot Challenge/WeatherTech Championship double (for a team that took the overall win in the 2018 Sahlen’s Six Hours).

However, the team’s chances were dashed when Westbrook smacked one of Michelin’s RFID (radio frequency ID) stanchions while jockeying for position exiting pit lane with the No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06. The resulting penalty (stop plus five-minute hold in the pit lane penalty box) put paid to any hope of a win for the giant killers. In the final reckoning, the No. 85 Porsche was classified ninth in the GTP class.