Miller and Taylor Return to TCR Victory Lane in No. 17 Audi

March 15, 2024

By Jeff Olson and John Oreovicz IMSA Wire Service

Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor drove the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Miller MotorSport Audi RS3 LMS TCR to a convincing victory in Touring Car (TCR) class action Friday at Sebring.

Miller engaged in a spirited battle with Motul Pole Award winner Harry Gottsacker in the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR in the first 40 minutes of the two-hour contest. After the various strategies played out over the course of several mid-race cautions, Taylor emerged in the lead.

“It was a smooth weekend from start to finish,” said Taylor. “That’s what we wanted, and the team gave us that. I’m just happy the car ran well. The crew put in a lot of work after Daytona, and here we are.

“It was a tough race nevertheless,” he added. “It might have looked easy, but we were saving as much fuel as possible while just giving it our all there.”

It was the second consecutive Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR win for the No. 17 duo, who also triumphed in the season opening BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway in late January.

“We feel good, but the competition is really tough, and we know those guys are coming,” Miller said. “We had the best strategy today, which won us the race. But there’s a lot of fast cars so we need to keep working.”

Taking the checkered flag in second place was the No. 80 Victor Gonzalez Racing Team Hyundai shared by Morgan Burkhard and Chase Jones, but the car did not meet minimum ground clearance in post-race technical inspection and was moved to the back of the class. Andy Lally prevailed in a late-race multi-car scrap in his first race in the No. 12 StarCom Racing Hyundai that he co-drove with Nick Tucker. With the penalty to the No. 80, they moved up to second place with the No. 89 HART Honda Civic FK7 TCR with drivers Chad Gilsinger and Steve Eich taking third.

JDC-Miller Audi Makes ‘Hail Mary’ Recovery to Win TCR Class

January 26, 2024

By John Oreovicz & Mark Robinson IMSA Wire Service

Mikey Taylor won two races for JDC-Miller MotorSports on Friday. The first was to and from Orlando International Airport in the morning to pick up a critical part to be installed in the team’s No. 17 Unitronic Audi RS3 LMS TCR. Miller and co-driver Chris Taylor then proceeded to charge to the front and capture the four-hour Touring Car (TCR) class season opener.

After turning six laps in opening Michelin Pilot Challenge practice on Wednesday, the team was unable to start the car on Thursday. The No. 17 sat out Thursday’s practice and qualifying while the JDC-Miller crew scrambled to replace multiple parts on the Audi without success to get it restarted. What they didn’t have on hand to swap out was the engine control unit (ECU), but the nearest one they could find was in Mexico.

Arrangements were made for someone to fly with the part to Orlando early Friday morning and Taylor met them and the ECU at the airport and raced back to Daytona.

“We were not doing the speed limit to get back here,” Taylor said, “and we just made it just in time. Miraculously, the car started because we had no idea that the parts we had would actually fix the issue. It was a pure Hail Mary and we were super lucky today.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career,” he added, “and I don’t want to be part of it again because it’s too stressful.”

Starting at the back of the TCR grid, Miller knew quickly he had a fast car and moved up to fourth in class less than a half-hour into the race. Taylor pushed the No. 17 into the lead for the first time just past the halfway point and wound up leading all but four of the final 53 laps around the 3.56-mile road course.

Not to say it was easy. Taylor fended off challenges from Denis Dupont in the No. 76 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR, Tom O’Gorman in the No. 15 Rockwell Autosport Development Audi RS3 LMS SEQ and Mark Wilkins in the No. 98 BHA Hyundai. The margin of victory was 20.408 seconds over Dupont, Preston Brown and Nick Looijmans in the No. 76 Hyundai, but only because Dupont ran out of fuel coming to the finish line.

It was Taylor’s eighth Michelin Pilot Challenge win, the sixth for Miller and their second together at Daytona – the other in 2021.

It was also particularly rewarding for reasons other than the miraculous recovery. It salved the wounds of the way the 2023 season ended, when an early exit from the season finale ended a bid for the TCR championship. Team members also learned Thursday night that Jay Cottrell, a former JDC-Miller crew member, passed away and dedicated the victory to him.

“It was nice to be able to do this and have the whole team rally around trying to win it for him,” Miller said. “It feels extra special because of that.”

The Michelin Pilot Challenge returns to action March 15 with the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring International Raceway.

Unitronic JDC-Miller Confirms Audi TCR Return

Mikey Taylor, Chris Miller back in team’s Gen2 Audi RS 3 LMS TCR…

January 17, 2024

by John Dagys at www.sportscar365.com

Unitronic JDC-Miller Motorsports has confirmed its return to IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition with the unchanged lineup of Mikey Taylor and Chris Miller in its Audi RS 3 LMS TCR.

The pairing, who finished third in the TCR championship last year, ended the season with three class victories, five podium finishes and four poles with its second-generation Audi TCR challenger.

“As the saying goes, why fix what isn’t broken,” said Taylor.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure driving with Chris and working with the entire Unitronic JDC-Miller team over the last few years.

“Last year we came so close to achieving our ultimate goal of the championship, and I’m confident if we can have a better start to our season we’ll be right there at the end again in 2024.

“Thank you to all our partners and crew members for coming back for another year of fun.”

Miller added: “Obviously 2023 didn’t end as we’d hoped but it was still a great effort by everyone involved and proved that we have everything needed to win the championship.

“To be able to return this year with a lot of continuity in the program should give us all a lot of confidence and I’m very grateful to everyone at JDC-Miller Motorsports, Unitronic, Liqui Moly and our other partners, for helping to make it happen.

“Looking back at last season we got off to a bit of a slow start as we were sorting out issues with a brand new car.

“We won’t have that excuse this year so it will be important to hit the ground running in Daytona and get a great result.

“I know everyone has been working hard to be as prepared as possible and I can’t wait to get on track.”

JDC-Miller MotorSports Wraps Up Inaugural Porsche 963 GTP Season With 5th place Finish at Motul Petit Le Mans

October 18, 2023

JDC-Miller MotorSports wrapped up its first Porsche 963 GTP season with a solid 5th place finish at Motul Petit Le Mans. The team was set up for a late race charge, but late cautions foiled the plan as the race finished under yellow.

“The drivers and team executed the race flawlessly.” said Managing Partner John Church. “To get a top 5 finish in the race with no damage after 10 hours of Motul Petit Le Mans traffic is a strong testament to everyone involved. Our regular season drivers Tijmen van der Helm and Mike Rockenfeller helped get Jenson Button up to speed very quickly in the complicated Porsche 963 and the very busy Road Atlanta course. The Porsche again ran flawlessly over the 397 laps completed.”

Fan response to the yellow JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 GTP was phenomenal. The autograph lines at Motul Petit Le Mans were some of the longest in IMSA history. Our drivers enjoyed their time with the fans and the fans with them.

JDC-Miller MotorSports has committed to the full 2024 season in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTP class. The team will announce its driver line-up in the next couple of weeks.

No. 17 JDC-Miller Audi Wins Wild TCR Battle with No. 33 Herta Hyundai

Late-Race Pass from Taylor in No. 17 Audi at Indy Creates Hotly Contested Championship Battle Heading to Season Finale

September 16, 2023

By Jeff Olson for IMSA.com

A wild pass in the dark during the final minutes left one team happy and another angry as the Touring Car (TCR) class championship intensified in Saturday’s penultimate round of the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Mikey Taylor passed Robert Wickens heading into Turn 7 with two minutes left, giving Taylor and polesitter Chris Miller their second consecutive victory and third of the season in their No. 17 Unitronic/JDC Miller MotorSports Audi RS3 LMS TCR.

“I knew if I had a big enough run, I’d be at least side-by-side,” Taylor said of his approach on the pass. “But he actually braked earlier than I expected, and I got a nice run around the outside. I don’t think he was necessarily expecting me to go there. It’s not a normal place to pass.”

The contact surrounding the pass didn’t go over well with Wickens, who, with co-driver Harry Gottsacker, managed to help maintain the TCR championship lead for the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR.

“I don’t want to be the poor loser, but I’ve never raced the 17 yet this year where there hasn’t been contact,” Wickens said. “I can race everyone else without any contact. It’s just the way he is. If that’s how he wants to play, that’s how we’re going to play.”

Wickens and Gottsacker will unofficially take a 20-point lead over Taylor and Miller into the season-ending race next month at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“We have to perform, every race, to catch back the deficit we had at the beginning of the season,” Taylor said. “We’re taking it to Atlanta now. I think the ball is in our court. If we win, it doesn’t matter what they do.”

On a restart with 11 minutes left, Taylor passed Wickens, who quickly regained the lead when Taylor tangled with the No. 79 NV Autosport Ford Mustang GT4 driven by Drew Neubauer in Turn 14.

Minutes later, Taylor pulled his Audi alongside Wickens’ Hyundai, and the final tussle for the victory commenced. When asked if there was contact in the dark, Taylor replied, “Oh, for sure.”

“It was just good racing,” he continued. “That’s how we’ve all raced all season. I have a lot of respect for them. … If I finished second at Indianapolis, I wouldn’t be happy either.”

The two shook hands during the post-race celebration, but Wickens expressed his frustration with the late move and the previous pass on the restart.

“He hit me to get by, and then he hit a GS (Neubauer),” Wickens said. “I get back in front of him, and then their car is so fast that they just catch back up. I’m blocking for my life, and eventually all he’s going to do is just hit me out of the way. That’s what he does.”

Taylor’s winning margin at the line was 1.138 seconds. The No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR co-driven by Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi finished third.

The Fox Factory 120, the season finale for the Michelin Pilot Challenge, will be held Oct. 13 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Peacock will provide live streaming coverage in the U.S.