JDC-Miller MotorSports finishes 6th at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 29, 2024

The JDC-Miller Motorsports Porsche 963 GTP came across the finish line after 24 hours
of racing in the 6th position. It was the team’s first attempt at a 24-hour race with the
Porsche 963. The No. 85 Porsche was fast from the start posting top times in practice.
At the start, JDC-Miller Motorsports driver Richard Westbrook moved up from his 9th
starting position to 2nd in his first session in the car. The drivers and crew performed
flawlessly throughout the 24-hour race, perfectly executing the team’s race strategy,
and late in the race was on the lead lap and in a very good position for a late charge.
Unfortunately, with less than two hours to go, the right-side driver’s door opened and
necessitated an unscheduled pit stop to close the door and repair the latch.

A Porsche 963 GTP was the car to have at this year’s Rolex 24, placing four cars in the
top six positions with the No. 7 Porsche Penske taking the checker by just 2 seconds
over the 2nd place Cadillac. JDC-Miller Motorsports Chief Engineer, Rick Cameron, was
a very proud father as his son Dane was one of the drivers of the winning car.

The No. 85 covered 2806 miles during the race averaging 133.354 MPH. The crew
flawlessly did 31 pit stops and 14 driver changes.

Quotes:

John Church, Managing Partner, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“We had a better car today than our 6th place finish indicates. The car was strong from
the start I’m very proud of the crew and the drivers for their exceptional performance.
We are starting to get our arms around the Porsche 963 and it showed this weekend.
All the hard work building up to the race was very evident in the car, crew, and driver,
performance.

I’m very pleased with our driver line-up. They have really jelled as a group and were fast
and mistake free throughout the event. This bodes well for the rest of the 2024 season.
It was fun to have Ben Keating back with us as he is a great driver and a good fit for our
program. He adapted to the complicated 963 almost immediately.”

Richard Westbrook, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“This was our first 24-hour race in the 963. We know how complex these cars are, so to
finish with just minor issues at the end, is really sweet, but a little bit bitter as well. We
just had a couple of niggles at the end that pulled us out of contention. The first half of
the race we felt like we had the weapons to take it to the fight. Later a couple of little
things unraveled. That’s racing. We will dust ourselves off and head to Sebring. But I
think it bodes well for a good year. The crew, I can’t say enough about them. Not one
mistake in pit stops. Drivers didn’t make any mistakes. I think JDC-Miller deserved
something a bit more. But that’s racing. Looking forward to Sebring.”

Tijmen van der Helm, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

“We had a fast car which is always fun. When I qualified the car, I thought “wow, this
thing is fast.” It felt really good to put down a lap under the old track record. Later in the
session others went a bit faster but it really showed we had the pace for the race. We
ran really hard for the entire 24 hours and were ready to make a run to the finish when
we had the door issue. Things are really coming together and I am looking forward to
the rest of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season.”

Phil Hanson, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

Feeling bittersweet because at one point there we were running a strong fourth. We
were the second Porsche and had good pace. Unfortunately, a few issues along the
way prevented us from achieving the result that we think we deserved. Some door
issues late in the race kind of let us down, but lots of positives to take away. The team
did an excellent job. There were no mistakes. Reliability was fantastic. It ultimately gives
us a very good platform to build on for the rest of the year. It’s a little bit of a
disappointment that we couldn’t get the result that I feel we probably deserved today.
Congratulations to Porsche Penske for the win. It’s nice to see the Porsche 963 win
Daytona for the first time.

Ben Keating, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963

What a great experience! I love working with this team. The whole GTP experience in
the Porsche 963 was a lot to learn and a lot to take in. I felt honored to be welcomed
into the team with open arms as the only Am driver to ever compete in the GTP class. I
always know that JDC-Miller Motorsports is going to give us a great car for the Rolex
24! We all wanted more than 6th place, but everybody did their job very well and that is
what the race gave us.

Privateer Porsches Stake Their Claim at Roar Testing

January 20, 2024

JDC-Miller and Proton Competition Top the GTP Chart in the Afternoon Session

By John Oreovicz for IMSA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When it comes to pure numbers, Porsche has the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship covered, supplying four of the 10 cars in the Rolex 24 At Daytona field.

Porsche is also the only one of four (soon to be five) manufacturers participating in GTP that currently sells cars to private customer teams in addition to fielding the two Porsche Penske Motorsport entries. Those customer Porsches proved their worth Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, as Phil Hanson turned the fastest lap of this year’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions in the No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 in preparation for next weekend’s Rolex 24.

Hanson’s time of 1 minute, 35.216 seconds (134.599 mph) in the fourth sessions of track time since Friday paced a tight field in which the top five cars were clustered within about a quarter of a second. Neel Jani and Connor De Phillippi came closest to Hanson on Saturday afternoon, clocking identical 1:45.329 laps in Proton Competition’s No. 5 Porsche 963 and the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8, respectively.

Hanson, a 24-year-old Englishman, was asked whether he felt the factory Penske Porsches that finished eighth and 10th in the same session were not yet showing their hand.

“I don’t think we’ve shown our hand yet, to be honest,” Hanson replied with a grin. “The JDC boys did a really good job of rolling out with a strong package this morning, and I think that showed in both practice sessions. We were very fast in the morning when my teammates drove, and that also translated into the afternoon.

“I think we’re in good shape, to be honest,” he added. “We’re just trying to learn as much as we can about the car. There are several other things we want to understand, foreshadowing the race weekend. There are going to be very different conditions, so we want to get as much data as we can now to adapt as best we can. The team is doing a really good job at the moment, and it’s nice to be at the front.”

JDC-Miller was the first customer team to campaign a Porsche 963, beginning in May 2023 in the race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The team’s full-time drivers this year are Richard Westbrook and 2023 carryover Tijmen van der Helm, joined at the Rolex 24 by Hanson and last season’s Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class champion Ben Keating.

Keating is performing double duty at Daytona, sharing the JDC-Miller Porsche in GTP while also anchoring the driver lineup in his full-time ride – the No. 2 United Autosports ORECA LMP2 07 in the LMP2 class. Keating was fastest in LMP2 in the Saturday afternoon session, notching a 1:39.047 lap (129.393 mph). Nicklas Nielsen turned the quickest LMP2 lap of the day in the morning with a 1:38.576 (130.011 mph) in the No. 88 Richard Mille AF Corse ORECA.

Keating shares the No. 2 car with Nico Pino, Ben Hanley and Patricio O’ Ward. United Autosports also paced LMP2 on opening day of the Roar, in the hands of Paul di Resta in the team’s No. 22 entry.

“Obviously it’s early in the process of going through this event, but it’s looking like we’re near the top,” said di Resta, whose No. 22 Daytona teammates are Daniel Goldburg, Bijoy Garg and Felix Rosenqvist. “We’re being naive in the sense that we’re just concentrating on ourselves, trying to make the best possible car with the philosophy we think, and hopefully that will enable us to battle for the win.”

Klaus Bachler managed the fastest GT lap of the day, recording 1:45.799 (121.135 mph) in the afternoon session in the No. 86 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (type 992) that competes in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Tommy Milner produced the day’s best lap in the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class in the morning, timed at 1:45.844 (121.084 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Corvette Z06 GT3.R.

Porsche finished 1-2-3 in GTD in the Saturday afternoon session, a year after a difficult debut for the latest generation of the 911 GT3.

“I would definitely take it if next Sunday we would end up in this position,” Bachler remarked, looking ahead to the Rolex 24. “Nothing else to say – it was a good session for us, and the car felt really good. Last year was really hard for us; it was honestly the longest and hardest 24-hour race I’ve ever had. This is different this year, for sure.”

Roar activities were scheduled to continue Saturday evening with a two-hour session under the DIS lights. A final GTP session is set for 1:25 p.m. ET Sunday, just ahead of Rolex 24 qualifying for all classes starting at 1:55 p.m. Peacock has live streaming coverage of the Sunday practice and qualifying.

The 62nd running of the Rolex 24 takes place Saturday, Jan. 27. Flag-to-flag coverage is available on the NBC Sports platforms, with the race start airing live on NBC network beginning at 1:30 p.m.