Taylor, Miller, No. 17 Audi Collect Fourth Win of Season

June 22, 2024

By John Oreovicz and David Phillips IMSA Wire Service

Mikey Taylor enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the tussle for the lead of the Touring Car (TCR) class between Robert Wickens’ No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR and Jon Morley’s No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR in the closing stages of Saturday’s race. But Taylor was positively delighted by the view in the rearview mirror of the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi the following lap, having taken the lead with a clean pass into the Inner Loop at Watkins Glen after Wickens firmly rebuffed Morley’s bold overtaking effort at the same point the previous lap.

“That was a tough move,” Taylor said of Morley’s unsuccessful passing attempt. “But as competitive as TCR is these days, when you have a sniff at an overtake you’ve got to go for it. I thought they were both going to go around and retire, but the Hyundai is pretty robust. That’s TCR for you: it’s tight, close and fun racing.” 

Once out front, Taylor gradually edged away from Wickens to take the TCR win by 2.054 seconds, even as the race ended in disappointment for Morley when the Road Shagger Audi ran short of fuel two corners from the finish line. Morley’s misfortune enabled Denis Dupont to grab the final spot in the No. 76 BHA Hyundai he shared with Preston Brown.

“We used what we had,” said Taylor. “We didn’t have much front end (tires) left and we didn’t have much fuel left. But (co-driver) Chris (Miller) did a great first stint to bring it to me, and the guys on the (pit) box – I can’t say enough – they did a great job on the strategy. At the end, it wasn’t about raw pace, it was about consistency and that’s what the Unitronic/JDC-Miller Audi is: It’s consistent.”  

Taylor and Miller are becoming quite accustomed to seeing the TCR field in their mirrors. This was their fourth win in five Michelin Pilot Challenge races so far this year and represents a rebound from the race at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago that saw the No. 17 Audi finish third.

“They’re all difficult,” Miller said, “and this is just one step closer to our goal. I’m just super proud of the team. The guys have been doing an amazing job and, honestly, it’s due to them that we’re on this run. Mikey and I are just trying to bring the car home in one piece. They’re calling great strategy, doing great pit stops and we’re picking ‘em up and putting them down.”

The result boosted the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Motorsports Audi to a commanding 220-point lead over the No. 76 BHA Hyundai as the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competitors head north to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in three weeks.

Unitronic JDC-Miller Audi Battles Through Issues for Podium Finish in Ohio

Jun 13th, 2024 from www.getunitronic.com

As the summer temperatures heat up, so too does the IMSA racing schedule and kicking off the busy summer season was the Unitronic JDC-Miller Motorsports team’s second 4-hour race of the season at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Four Hours of Mid-Ohio.

Coming into the race on a three race winning streak, the team knew it would be tough to keep the chasing pack behind as every competitor gunned to take down the #17 that had been on top for most of the start of the season. The Lexington, Ohio based track is also one of the toughest on the calendar for the Audi RS3 LMS TCR platform as it suited the hatchback car configuration of the Honda Civic FL5 TCR and Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR more than the sedan platform of the road car based Audi platform.

HEATED COMPETITION

Starting off the weekend strong, drivers Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor topped the charts in practice 1 and a solid 5th place in practice 2 in the tight TCR field. Qualifying brought more of a challenge, as the Honda Civic FL5 TCR team of MMG stretched their legs and showed what their well-favored balance of performance could do with a chart topping time of 1.27.103, leading to driver Chris Miller in 4th place with a 1.27.804.

TEAM FIGHTS THROUGH EARLY CONTACT

As the green flag flew the battle started for the #17 team as the rowdy TCR class battled back and forth making contact with the Audi several times and forcing Chris Miller as low as 8th at one point. Nevertheless, the team charged on throughout numerous issues with the handling and gearbox shifting of the now damaged race car. Around the halfway mark of the 4-hour challenge, the team made their mandatory driver change and put Mikey Taylor into the seat to give him a shot at battling until the end. Through a sequence of fast laps, pit stops and clever strategy by John Church, the #17 was to cycle through to 4th place near the final hour of the race, just behind the two factory backed Hyundai Elantra N TCR of Bryan Herta Autosport and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR of KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering.

UNITRONIC JDC-AUDI HANGS ON FOR P3 FINISH

As the field took the green flag from one of the final few full course caution periods with just over an hour to go, Taylor made a decisive move inside the #33 Hyundai to take a podium position and start the charge towards the front. Unfortunately for him, the damage from earlier in the race to the aerodynamics and gearbox of the car held him back and did not allow the South African born driver to unleash the pace of the Unitronic Audi. Ending the three-race winning streak the team had to settle for a admirable 3rd place finish, only 6 seconds off the winning Hyundai #76 and second place #5 Alfa Romeo. A solid result and points haul for the team means they retain their championship lead by 170 points over the chasing #76 Hyundai.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FROM ECS TUNING

Throughout the week, the Unitronic JDC-Miller Motorsports team partnered up with ECS TUNING for several activities at their facility and on the track. We’d like to thank them again for their time and enthusiasm around our brand and race program. As a reminder, FREE limited edition posters are still available on ECSTUNING.COM while supplies last. These unique posters not only commemorate our special partnership at Mid-Ohio but they have also been autographed by our pro drivers; Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor.

NEXT RACE

The next round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Championship takes place next week at the world famous Watkins Glen International Raceway on June 20th – 23rd. Stay up to date on all our activities, learn more about the team, our pro drivers, the #17 RS 3 LMS TCR race car, our tremendous sponsors and shop for team merch HERE. Make sure to tune into UNITRONIC social media channels for behind the scenes race coverage of all ten championship events!

Miller, Taylor, No. 17 Earn Third Straight TCR Win of Season

May 11, 2024

By John Oreovicz and Mark Robinson IMSA Wire Service

Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor kept their perfect 2024 season intact in the Touring Car (TCR) portion of the Michelin Pilot Challenge by following the same recipe of success.

As he did in the first two races this year, Miller put the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Miller MotorSports Audi RS3 LMS TCR in contention at WeatherTech Raceway, then Taylor powered the car into the lead and on to victory lane.

Taylor passed a pair of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundais in the final 21 minutes of the two-hour race to secure the third win in as many outings this season for the No. 17 Audi. It’s been a rewarding beginning to 2024 for the JDC-Miller team after a shot at winning the TCR championship slipped away in the 2023 finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“We’re focused on winning this championship after it got away from us in Atlanta last year,” Taylor said.

Miller started second in TCR but a miscue behind a GS car during his stint dropped him to fifth place when he turned the No. 17 over to Taylor on a pit stop. Taylor trailed leader Mason Filippi in the No. 98 BHA Hyundai Elantra N TCR by eight seconds with 45 minutes remaining but chipped away the deficit quickly.

Taylor shoved his way past Robert Wickens in the No. 33 BHA Hyundai through the Andretti Hairpin with 21 minutes to go. Two laps later, he followed a pair of GS cars past Filippi in the same spot to grab the lead and went on to win by 1.254 seconds.

“I don’t think we had crazy outright speed, but on old tires, which is what this track is known for, we were OK,” Taylor said. “It was a couple tough passes. The GS guys helped me out a little bit, making some holes, and we took what we could.

“It feels great, feels great,” Taylor added. “I had my mind on my wedding next week a little bit, but it feels good to be here. Great points for the team and just happy for everyone in the program.”

The win was the ninth for Taylor in Michelin Pilot Challenge competition and the eighth for Miller. Meanwhile, Filippi and co-driver Mark Wilkins, trying to repeat as the WeatherTech Raceway TCR winners, felt that second place was the best they could do on this day.

“I think we did the best we could today,” Wilkins said. “We can’t compete with that car with the pace right now that they can run, so for us, we were just trying to make as few mistakes as possible. We ran really a perfect day in my opinion, so second is a win for us today.”

Saturday’s race broadcast will air at 1 p.m. ET Saturday, May 18 on CNBC. Both classes of the Michelin Pilot Challenge return to action June 6-8 at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Four Hours of Mid-Ohio.

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.