JDC-Miller MotorSports announces 2024 Porsche 963 GTP program driver lineup

Richard Westbrook joins Tijmen van der Helm for JDC-Miller MotorSports
2024 Porsche 963 GTP campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship. Phil Hanson joins the team for the Michelin Endurance
Championship rounds.

Savage, Minnesota (November 14, 2024). JDC-Miller MotorSports confirmed today
that Richard Westbrook and Tijmen van der Helm will return to lead the driver lineup of
the team’s no. 5 Porsche 963 GTP in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
As previously announced, Phil Hanson will join the team for all five Michelin Endurance
championship rounds. Ben Keating returns to JDC-Miller MotorSports for the Rolex 24
at Daytona.

The Minnesota-based race team will be going with experience in its sophomore season
with the Porsche 963 GTP. Van der Helm was with the team for the entire 2023 season
and drove the team’s Porsche 963 GTP from the fourth round onward. He gained pace
and race experience throughout the season as he and the team jelled around the new
963 and the GTP program. Westbrook, who has been a factory driver in several
programs, drove the team’s Cadillac DPi in 2022. He brings experience with the new
hybrid prototypes having driven an LMDh in the 2023 WEC season. Hanson has a huge
amount of protype experience in IMSA and WEC, including a 2020 LMP2 class win at
the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ben Keating, 2023 IMSA WeatherTech LMP2 Champion, returns to JDC-Miller
MotorSports after driving the team’s Cadillac DPi in the 2022 Rolex 24 Hours at

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports
“We were very pleased with our 2023 season with the Porsche 963 GTP. Everything
was new for all the GTP teams last year and we all gained a huge amount of
knowledge. For 2024, we will have a balance of youth and experience, but more
importantly, all our drivers will have extensive prototype experience in IMSA. This driver
line-up, coupled with the support of Porsche Motorsports North America, will put us in
the position to compete for wins in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.”

Phil Hanson Joins JDC-Miller MotorSports With 2024 Porsche 963 GTP IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Program

October 24, 2023

Talented sportscar racing driver Phil Hanson is delighted to announce that he will join JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Porsche 963 GTP program for all five 2024 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events.

Phil has had an impressive career in endurance racing, despite being just 24 years of age. He was the first driver to win the FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP2), European Le Mans Series, and the Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP2) all in the same year.

He is also the youngest driver ever to win an FIA WEC title, the youngest British driver to win LMP2 at Le Mans, was the youngest Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion, the youngest European Le Mans Series outright race winner, and youngest outright Asian Le Mans Series championship winner.

So far this season, Phil has recorded three podium finishes in the FIA WEC and taken a victory in the European Le Mans Series, and is no stranger to IMSA racing, having already raced in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 6 Hours of The Glen.

Ahead of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, JDC-Miller MotorSports was named as the first customer team to run the Porsche 963. Entered in the series’ new GTP class, it scored four top-five finishes, despite running a partial season campaign.


Philip Hanson, No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I’m very excited to be joining JDC Miller Motorsport for the 2024 IMSA endurance races! After my first taste of IMSA back in 2018, I am thrilled to be back in the IMSA paddock and above all, to be making my debut in the GTP class with JDC’s 963 Porsche. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.”

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports

“JDC-Miller MotorSports is very pleased to announce Phil Hanson will be driving our Porsche 963 GTP in the 2024 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events. We have been following Phil’s career for quite some time and his accomplishments are very impressive. He is a proven winner at the top levels of sports car racing and will be a great addition to the team. It will be fun to see what Phil can accomplish in a Porsche 963 GTP. JDC-Miller MotorSports is excited to take Phil to success at the next level of his already impressive career.”

Volker Holzmeyer, President and CEO Porsche Motorsport North America

“We are very proud of what JDC-Miller MotorSports achieved in their first season of racing the Porsche 963. They were the first to make the commitment to take on the challenge of customer racing in the GTP class. Each week we learned more together, and I see no reason this won’t continue into 2024. To attract a driver the caliber of Philip Hanson to the team speaks well of the program that has been built. I think we will see the true potential of customer race teams show against the works programs in the class. This is like what we saw in the 1980s with the 962 and that speaks well for the future.”

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.

JDC-Miller Eyeing Two-Car Porsche GTP Effort in 2025

Minnesota-based team could double its GTP class effort in future…

October 17, 2023

By John Dagys for SportsCar365.com

JDC-Miller Motorsports could expand into a two-car Porsche 963 operation in the 2025 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season amid the team’s upcoming delivery of a second LMDh car.

The Minnesota-based team, which made its GTP class debut at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in May, is expected to take delivery of a new Porsche LMDh chassis prior to next year’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“It’s just for spares,” Church told Sportscar365. “We need to have a proper spares program. It’s always more economically viable that way [to buy an entire spare car for spares].

“The whole car is a lot worth a lot more than half of its pieces.”

Church, however, indicated that the spare car could be turned into a second race car for the 2025 season.

“I think down the road for sure,” he said. “But not next year.

“[2025] would be the goal. But right now, we’re just trying to take it one race at a time and then we’ll figure it out.”

Fellow Porsche LMDh privateer Proton Competition, which currently has two cars, is eyeing similar expansion plans, although the delivery dates for additional cars has forced the German squad to focus on single-car full-season programs in the WeatherTech Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

JDC-Miller, which has yet to finalize its driver lineup for next year, made significant progress over its debut season with the Multimatic-chassied prototype, posting multiple top-five finishes with drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm.

“I think we know way more than we did going into Laguna,” Church said. “You learn every day. I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made and the guys have made.

“It’s been one of those years where it’s been really hard to find things to complain about.

“We’ll get some more testing in [during the off-season] but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

JDC-Miller Looking to Cap Successful Seasons across Three Series

Jenson Button’s IMSA Debut and Two Challenge Series Championship Runs Highlight the Team’s Michelin Raceway Weekend

October 10, 2023

By Tony DiZinno for IMSA.com

Photo Credit: LAT Images

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Few teams run as varied a program within IMSA as Minnesota-based JDC-Miller MotorSports. Heading to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the team’s three-series, three-class, four-car effort looks to steal headlines, thunder and championships from their rivals.

In Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans, the capper to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button will make his IMSA and track debut aboard the team’s No. 5 Porsche 963 entry in the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class. It provides Button a chance to reunite with his NASCAR Garage 56 and 24 Hours of Le Mans teammate, Mike Rockenfeller, and emerging talent Tijmen van der Helm.

The team will also run a Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) chassis with drivers Rasmus Lindh, Dan Goldburg and Till Bechtolsheimer for the last race of that class within WeatherTech Championship competition. Its No. 85 Duqueine D08 has run with multiple drivers in four LMP3 races this year and has a best finish of third at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a driver lineup that included Goldburg and Bechtolsheimer.

Motul Petit Le Mans will follow three additional races earlier in the weekend where the team seeks championships in a pair of IMSA challenge series.

Unitronic/JDC-Miller MotorSports with Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor in the No. 17 Audi RS3 LMS TCR will attempt to wrest the Michelin Pilot Challenge Touring Car (TCR) class championship away from Harry Gottsacker and Robert Wickens, who have a 20-point lead in the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TCR.

Similarly, Goldburg looks to secure the inaugural VP Racing SportsCar Challenge LMP3 title in the No. 73 JDC MotorSports Duqueine D08.

Pulling double duty this weekend for JDC-Miller by driving an LMP3 in both the WeatherTech Championship and the VP Racing Challenge, Goldburg has a pair of 45-minute races in the latter to erase a 90-point gap to Bijoy Garg and the No. 3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320.

Button Eagerly Anticipating GTP Debut

The JDC-Miller Porsche 963 tested at Michelin Raceway on Sept. 19, which allowed Button to learn both the car and the 2.54-mile, 12-turn track. After a 31-hour travel day from Singapore to Braselton, Georgia, Button was awed by the facility.

“How cool is this place?!?” Button remarked in a video before he started his track walk.

The smile continued once he’d completed the test day.

“Today went really well,” he said. “I got some good laps in the car. This track is nuts! It’s so fast, so fast flowing, with loads of blind crests. And I’m learning the track with a new car.

“It took a little while, but I felt really good at the end and good in the car. Yeah, I’m confident, so bring on Petit Le Mans!”

The JDC-Miller Porsche finished eighth at the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ending a run of three straight top-five finishes.

Team principal John Church isn’t ready to announce 2024 program plans but hinted “things are coming together well” and announcements should follow the season finale.

Taylor, Miller Headline JDC’s Challenge Series Title Attack

JDC has three IMSA titles on its resume, with three consecutive championships in Prototype Lites – the VP Racing Challenge’s previous series iteration – from 2014 to 2016 (Misha Goikhberg, Kenton Koch and Clark Toppe won those titles, respectively). Winning both the Michelin Pilot Challenge and VP Racing Challenge titles in the same year would mark quite a feat; winning either would add to the team’s extensive resume.

Taylor and Miller’s new second-generation Audi features a sequential gearbox among other technical enhancements. After working through some teething issues the first third of the season, Taylor and Miller hit their stride. They’ve won the last two races –VIRginia International Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway – and finished first or second in five of the last six races.

“The setup on this car is quite a bit different,” Taylor explained. “It’s a bit like a GT3 car with shims and how we adjust things. Now, I feel like we have a decent grip on it.”

As a single-car team, Taylor doesn’t underestimate what it would mean to win the title.

“I started in this class in 2018, and it was a lot more grassroots-type teams,” Taylor said. “Unless you put in huge money to compete, it’s quite hard, so I commend the smaller teams.

“You need a good driver lineup too, because it’s stout to go against (Herta drivers) Wickens, Gottsacker, (Mark) Wilkins and (Mason) Filippi.”

JDC-entered cars will run in Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans, which begins at 11:40 a.m. ET on Peacock in the U.S. (USA Network joins with live coverage at 6:30 p.m.), with the Michelin Pilot Challenge Fox Factory 120 at 12:25 p.m. Friday and the VP Racing Challenge races at 4:40 p.m. Thursday and 9:25 a.m. Friday. All three of those races will air live on Peacock.

Button Excited for GTP Debut: ‘Endurance Racing Is Where It’s At’

The F1 World Champion Looks to Parlay His Motul Petit Le Mans Ride into a Fulltime Sports Car Gig in 2024 and Beyond

September 28, 2023

By Jeff Olson

IMSA Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jenson Button did more than just accept his latest challenge. He welcomed it.  

Earlier this year – when they were in the midst of the NASCAR Garage 56 project that successfully showcased a NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro on a global stage at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Mike Rockenfeller asked his teammate if he would be interested in joining JDC-Miller MotorSports for the 26th annual Motul Petit Le Mans. Button, 43, didn’t need time to ponder the invitation. He promptly said yes.  

“The question should be why would you not do this?” Button said. “I’m a racing driver. I could sit on the couch and do nothing, but why would I want to do that? I have to race.”  

The 2009 Formula One world champion will be accomplishing three firsts in his acclaimed, 26-year career: Racing a Porsche prototype, racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and racing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.  

“IMSA is something I’ve watched for years,” Button said. “I love endurance racing. I love the teamwork that goes into it, and how drivers have to work together rather than being rivals within the team. The racing is just awesome.”  

So awesome, in fact, that Button is seeking to parlay next month’s run at Petit with JDC-Miller into a more permanent gig in the realm of endurance racing for 2024 and possibly 2025. Most likely that would involve a full-time ride in the FIA World Endurance Championship, he said, with a side hustle in IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races.  

“There are a few very good options,” Button said.

But for now, the immediate task is Petit Le Mans. He’ll join Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm in the No. 5 JDC-Miller Porsche 963 for the team’s sixth race as the first customer team in the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class this season. The 10-hour race is the fourth endurance race of 2023 and season finale for both the WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Endurance Cup.

It’s both a step into and a step out of Button’s areas of expertise. He spent almost two decades racing and winning in high-downforce cars – and is returning to it for the first time in four years – but he doesn’t have much experience with multiclass racing or co-driving with teammates.

Challenges accepted.  

“Endurance is the place I want to be,” Button said. “Multiclass racing throws something else into the mix with traffic. There’s always a lot more action because of it. The way IMSA is run, you don’t know who is going to win until after the last safety car, basically. Endurance racing is where it’s at.”

So, too, is IMSA and its five classes and too-close-to-call championship battles. Button marvels at joining the GTP class, in which three manufacturers – Porsche, Acura and Cadillac – are within five points of one another for the championship heading into the final race.

While JDC-Miller didn’t get its customer Porsche up and running until May and therefore isn’t a part of the championship drama, Button says he won’t alter his approach to the race.

“It’s dangerous to not give it your all,” he said. “You’re not going to let people past. We are here to race and we’re here to compete. It’s a championship but it’s also a standalone race. You want to do the best you can. No quarters given, definitely not. As soon as you start taking it a bit easier on the guys fighting for a championship, it actually makes it worse.” 

Since departing F1 after 18 seasons in 2017, Button’s racing career has been diverse and adventurous. He’s raced in Super GT, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, WEC, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), British GT, Extreme E, Nitro Rallycross and, earlier this year, three NASCAR Cup Series races and the NASCAR-backed Garage 56 entry at Le Mans with Rockenfeller and Jimmie Johnson.  

A test of the JDC-Miller Porsche last week at Michelin Raceway marked the first time Button had driven a high-downforce car since 2019. 

“The first 10 laps were a bit of a shock to the system,” Button admitted. “Getting used to downforce cars again and a circuit that is fast, flowing, blind and unforgiving was interesting. But to be fair, I loved it. Absolutely loved the challenge. I feel at home driving high-downforce cars. It’s in my makeup. It’s what I’ve done for two decades.”

He joins a select group of stars from other racing series participating in Motul Petit Le Mans on Oct. 14. Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden will join the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport GTP entry with co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell. 

Newgarden’s IndyCar teammate, Scott McLaughlin, will return to Tower Motosports to try to add to their Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class victory in March at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Six-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves – who have been frequent competitors in IMSA endurance races the past several years – also are expected to be on the grid again at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“It’s nice to see drivers from different categories jumping in and being competitive,” Button said. “It’s lovely that we’ve got drivers from all over the world wanting to try their hand at endurance racing.”

For Button, though, the question of why always becomes the question of why not. He talks of drivers in his age range who continue to race successfully at high levels. He mentions multi-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, still competitive in F1 at 42. Above all, Button says, the desire is about competition. 

“It never leaves you as a racing driver, that want for competition,” Button said. “As long as I still want to race and am still healthy and fit and my reactions are still there, there’s no reason to stop racing. When I get to a point where I’ve lost my edge, I won’t be doing so much serious racing. But for now, wow! I feel like I’ve got a lot of years ahead. I still feel like a 20-year-old when it comes to racing.

“I will race as long as I can.”

(Photo of Jenson Button courtesy of Drivinhard Media Group)

JDC-Miller MotorSports to display its Porsche 963 at Rennsport Reunion 7 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

September 12, 2023

JDC-Miller MotorSports confirmed today that it will be displaying the team’s Porsche 963 GTP at Rennsport Reunion 7 on September 28 through October 1. The car will be in Garage 11 of the Legends display.

JDC-Miller MotorSports is very proud to be part of the Porsche family and to have been
asked to display the first customer Porsche 963 GTP car.

Rennsport Reunion 7 is on track to be the biggest Porsche gathering ever. More than
80,000 fans attended Rennsport Reunion 6 in 2018 and more are expected to attend
over four days between September 28th and October 1st.

The car returns WeatherTech Laguna Seca where is made its racing debut in May
kicking off its 2023 season with JDC-Miller MotorSports. The team had only received
the car a week prior. After coming home 7th in their first race, the team has scored three
top five finishes, with season high 4th place finishes at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire
Motorsport Park and a strong 5th at Road America.

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports
“JDC-Miller MotorSports is honored to be asked to participate in this incredible event.
This will be my first Rennsport and I am very much looking forward to being part of it.
When I was young my father had a 911 Targa so Porsche has been in my blood for a
very long time. Being a racing and Porsche fan all my life makes being emersed in all
this history just incredible. We have made so many Porsche friends over the past year
or so and this just takes that to another level. I look forward to meeting many more of
the Porsche family at Rennsport.

This is my first Porsche. I am now a member of the Porsche Club of America and our
local Region, Nord Stern. We have hosted open houses for Nord Stern since 2016 so
the relationship is not new. We also have a strong working relationship with our local
dealers, Porsche Minneapolis and Porsche St. Paul.”

Rockenfeller: “No Magic” Behind JDC-Miller’s Consistency

Mike Rockenfeller believes measured approach in first GTP season has boosted results…

August 31, 2023

By Tim Fullbrook for sportscar365.com

Mike Rockenfeller believes that the string of consistent results the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Porsche 963 has achieved is due to a straightforward approach to racing.

The customer Porsche squad joined the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP class at the fourth round of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a race that would see them finish seventh despite Rockenfeller and co-driver Tijmen Van der Helm only having a simulator session at Multimatic to learn the 963.

However in the three rounds since, the No. 5 car has finished in the top five, and most notably finished ahead of both factory Porsche Penske Motorsport cars at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Rockenfeller was adamant that the run of performances is not solely the result of improved pace, but a “not rocket science” approach to setting up and running the car.

“The consistency is that yes, we have been lucky, we haven’t had a technical issue yet, but it comes also down to preparation of the team, focusing on the basics,” he told Sportscar365.

“Not drifting too far away too much because we cannot afford to drift away and do crazy stuff because we don’t have the testing and we don’t have the time and the money to go in that direction.

“We really have to focus on our basics that we can influence.

“There is no big magic to be honest. It’s sticking with more-or-less a baseline that we understand. getting familiar with the systems and how to influence the balance of the car by turning the knobs on the wheel.”

“It’s just learning by doing. I tell you if we had ten days of testing, I think we would be really good at just trying stuff.

“On a weekend the issue is that you have the pressure of the race weekend, timing, you cannot drift away too much, you do small steps. That comes back to our ‘lets keep it simple, we know this works, no rocket science.’”

Rockenfeller has competed in three top class regulation periods in the WeatherTech Championship (Prototype, DPi, and GTP) as a third driver, but persists during his first season in a full-time role that the focus has been on prioritizing finishing races over outright results.

“When you’re in the car, how do I take that restart?” he said. “Do I take all the risk? Is it necessary? It comes back to, we cannot afford to crash the car, we cannot afford to not finish by a driver mistake. It might happen, that’s normal.

“Here and there we are profiting from mistakes that others do and that’s part of the game when you are in our boat. You have to count on that a little bit and luckily for us some drivers are making those mistakes. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen for us.

“On track for us that is the crucial part, again focus on the basics, stay on track, make no mistakes. For me that is nothing special. That is part of the game.”

“For example, Road America, for me I felt we were competitive with the cars around us.

“In the race I was taking a bit more risk, but the people around me were taking even more risk which I really don’t understand, like, why do you move again under braking, for example, and early in the race where you want to finish?

“Then I was like now it’s enough, I let off the brake and fought my way through.”

Reunited With ‘Perfect Fit’ Button at Petit Le Mans

JDC-Miller recently confirmed that Jenson Button will complete the three-driver crew for Motul Petit Le Mans – the duo recently sharing duties at the highly popular NASCAR Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entry that raced at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Rockenfeller said he trusts in Button’s speed, hoping that the British driver will bring pace, reliability and draw attention to the Minnesota-based operation despite never having driven a GTP car or raced at Road Atlanta before.

“I think it’s a perfect fit for us,” said the 39-year-old German. “ I got to know him much better through the Garage 56, sharing a car for such a long time, not only at the race event but the development phase as well. He is super quick, super competitive.

“I realized it on the first [Garage 56] test already, how much he goes into detail, analyzes stuff, looks into data, how much he wants to be the fastest in a positive way, in the way it needs to be between drivers.

“For me a guy like him with his experience, and his pedigree it’s a dream to have him in the car for Petit.

“His name is mega for JDC-Miller in my opinion, as we are trying to find sponsorship for the future and so on.”

Rockenfeller added that he is looking forward to swapping notes with Button and hearing the 2009 F1 Champion’s perspective on the Porsche 963.

“The Porsche was developed by a group of people and drivers, the majority of it,” he said. “And lets say JDC-Miller or JOTA or Proton, as an example, the customers, you get the car, you drive it, and you realize things that the others already take as normal because they are used to it.

“After a while you just accept stuff and get on with it. I think it’s always important to have a new perspective and definitely the one of Jenson I am looking forward to.

“The way he feels the car, the way he describes stuff especially on tire testing, so for me it’s going to help the team to have him onboard a lot and it can only make us better as a team.”