JDC-Miller MotorSports announces 2023 Porsche 963 GTP program driver lineup

Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm join JDC-Miller MotorSports 2023 Porsche 963 GTP campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Savage, Minnesota (April 26, 2023). JDC-Miller MotorSports confirmed today that Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm will lead the driver lineup of the team’s new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Porsche 963 entry in the GTP class. The Minnesota-based race team will debut the first customer effort in the prototype category at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on May 12-14.

Mike Rockenfeller’s sports car racing history is truly remarkable. A veteran of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, the German prodigy began his association with the brand in 2003 racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. His career spans multi-year stints as a factory driver for Porsche, Audi, and Corvette. He has wins at Le Mans (2), Daytona, Sebring, the Nürburgring 24 and a championship in the fiercely competitive German Touring Cars (DTM). With his infectious smile, the 39-year-old is a favorite in the paddock. His personality is a perfect fit for the JDC-Miller team bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience at the highest levels of sports car racing.

While anticipating the delivery of its Porsche 963, van der Helm competed with JDC-Miller MotorSports in its LMP3 class entry at both the Rolex 24 At Daytona as well as the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring earlier this season.  The championship-winning team owned by John Miller and John Church helped the Dutch driver celebrate his 19th birthday at Daytona with a top-five finish. In 2022, he competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series in the LMP2 class including his first start at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. A third driver for the Michelin Endurance Championship events will be announced at a future date.

Quotes:

Mike Rockenfeller, No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I am excited to be part of this team and the Porsche 963 project! Starting our GTP season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the fourth round of the season is going to be a challenge. I am confident the JDC-Miller MotorSports team is on a very steep learning curve and will compete with the GTP teams very quickly. So very happy to see my name back on a Porsche.”

Tijmen van der Helm, No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“I am really happy to be a part of JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 LMDh project. To me it does not really matter that we start a bit later in the season. I think we as a team can maximize every opportunity we will get. Going to the Laguna race with a brand-new car will be tough, but I have no doubt that we will be competitive as a team. I look forward to the challenge and opportunity!”

John Church, Managing Partner, JDC-Miller MotorSports

“We are very proud to announce the new driver lineup for our 2023 GTP campaign with the Porsche 963. It represents a balance of youth and experience and features a tremendous amount of on-track success. This pairing combined with the Porsche 963 will allow us to compete for wins in IMSA.” 

About JDC-Miller MotorSports

Minnesota-based JDC-Miller MotorSports began making its mark on the IMSA record books with a PC class win at the 2016 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. The John Miller and John Church led operation quickly transitioned to the top ranks of sports car racing in 2017, scoring two second place finishes and fourth in the final class championship in only its rookie season. 

The team’s success and growth continued in 2018, when they introduced a two-car effort and scored a victory at Watkins Glen and a pole position at Road America. Once again, JDC-Miller MotorSports finished fourth in the series championship despite racing an even larger and more competitive IMSA WeatherTech Championship field.

For the 2019 season, JDC-Miller entered into a partnership with Cadillac to field a two car Cadillac DPi-V.R effort. The program had a number of podium finishes and added the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring crown to its growing list of accolades.

For the 2023 season, JDC-Miller MotorSports entered into an agreement with Porsche making it the first customer team selected to campaign the German sports car manufacturer’s Porsche 963 customer program. The Porsche 963 will compete in the new GTP category, which competes as the top class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The GTP Class introduces technically sophisticated hybrid power to IMSA matching it for the first time to efficient and bespoke internal combustion engines.

JDC-Miller, JOTA Receive Customer Porsche 963s

April 25, 2023

JDC-Miller, Hertz Team JOTA receive Porsche 963 customer LMDh cars at Weissach…

By Daniel Lloyd of sportscar365.com

JDC-Miller Motorsports and Hertz Team JOTA received their customer Porsche 963s in a shakedown and handover at the manufacturer’s Weissach facility last week.

Staff from both independent teams were on-hand to work alongside Porsche Motorsport personnel to give the hybrid-powered prototypes their first laps around Porsche’s in-house test track with factory driver Matt Campbell at the wheel.

The shakedowns took place on Thursday, while the cars were officially handed over to the teams on Friday.

JOTA will be the first customer outfit to race the Porsche 963 when it lines up in the Hypercar class at this weekend’s 6 Hours of Spa, after transporting the car directly from Weissach in Germany to Belgium.

JDC-Miller plans to debut its Porsche two weeks later in the fourth round of the WeatherTech Championship season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Porsche’s third LMDh customer, Proton Competition, is set to receive its cars slightly later considering it has a less time-sensitive target of making the Road America IMSA event in early August.

Porsche is the first LMDh manufacturer to deliver customer cars, which will go up against factory teams including Porsche Penske Motorsport.

12 Hours of Sebring Podium Finish

As always, the 12 Hours of Sebring was a rough and tumble affair with an exciting finish for the overall leaders. With 20 minutes remaining, the leading Porsche 963 was taken out by the 2nd place Acura which, in turn, collected the 3rd place Porsche 963. This was unfortunate for Porsche as they were poised to take two podium spots. The GTP class was incredibly competitive across all marques at Sebring in only its second outing, which speaks well for the class and its new cars going forward. We look forward to contesting in the GTP class with our own Porsche 963 in the coming months.

The JDC-Miller MotorSports #85 Duqueine D08 had a strong run in the LMP3 class.  Drivers Till Bechtolsheimer, Dan Goldburg, and Tijmen van der Helm put down 308 quick, steady laps on the 3.74 mile circuit, keeping the team in contention all day.

A late caution set up van der Helm to race the 2nd place #13 Duqueine D08 to the finish. Unfortunately, the GTP incident with 20 minutes remaining led to a long caution. This left only two laps of green flag racing remaining and time ran out to mount a charge.

Overall, a 3rd place finish was a good run for the JDC-Miller MotorSports team.

John Walko, Till Bechtolsheimer, Dan Goldburg, John Church, and Tijmen van der Helm celebrating at the podium.
Champagne residue on your trophy is always a good thing.

The next race for the team will be the MOTUL Course de Monterey Powered By Hyundai at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca May 12-14. This will be the first outing for the team’s new Porsche 963 entry in the GTP class.

JDC-Miller Set for Laguna Seca Debut With Porsche 963

March 16, 2023

Minnesota-based team slated to begin customer Porsche 963 campaign in mid-May…

By John Dagys of sportscar365.com

JDC-Miller Motorsports is set to give its Porsche 963 a debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in May according to team co-owner John Church.

The Minnesota-based team, which was announced as the first IMSA customer with the German manufacturer’s LMDh car, is scheduled to take delivery of the car in late April, alongside Hertz Team JOTA and Proton Competition.

Drivers for the car, which will carry the No. 5, have yet to be announced, although Tristan Vautier is again on-site at this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring helping support JDC-Miller’s LMP3 operation.

Speaking with Sportscar365, Church said it’s currently unclear if they’ll get any test days with the Multimatic-chassied prototype prior to the May 14 race.

“We’ll run at Laguna,” he told Sportscar365. “We’re trying to come up with a test plan before that but I’m not banking on it. I’m assuming we won’t.”

JDC-Miller is taking a similar approach to JOTA, in attempting to make its race debut as soon as possible. The British squad is targeting to take part in the 6 Hours of Spa FIA World Endurance Championship race, just days after the delivery date.

Proton, which is slated to debut its Porsches in the WEC race at Monza and Road America WeatherTech Championship rounds, has elected to initially focus on a private testing program first.

“You’ve got to start learning,” Church said on their race-focused approach. “Doing a test day is too easy to stop, wait and all of that. We’ve got to go and figure it out. I’m looking forward it.”

Key staff from the team were recently in Weissach as part of Porsche’s education process with the hybrid-powered car, with an additional session scheduled next month.

“They spent two weeks there just before Sebring,” Church said. “They were doing a little bit of assembly and they’ll do more of that in April as well.

“It’s good to get everything going and see everybody running [with the new-era GTP class]. Everybody’s working through little problems and teething issues but you see it getting better every race.

“It certainly all won’t be solved by the time we get involved but it gets better every day. That’s the encouraging part. It’s fun to watch that and see the progress.”