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.
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.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Dan Goldburg learned his lesson in Saturday’s first IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge race of the weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when he was balked in traffic at the start. He wasn’t about to let it happen again in Sunday’s finale.
Goldburg got the jump on polesitter and chief championship rival Bijoy Garg at the drop of the green flag in Race 2, then held Garg at bay the rest of the way to claim his third win of the season in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class. Meanwhile in the GSX class for GT4 cars, Gregory Liefooghe drove away from the pack to a comfortable victory.
Goldburg pushed the No. 73 JDC MotorSports Duqueine D08 into the early race lead on the 2.459-mile road course as Garg was slow getting up to speed in the No. 3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320 and slipped to fourth position. While Goldburg remained up front, Garg worked his way back to second place just past halfway through the 45-minute race and set his sights on the leader.
When Goldburg drifted wide in Turn 5 (CTMP’s historic Moss Corner) with 15 minutes remaining, it allowed Garg to close up tight behind. The Californian made several takeover attempts the rest of the way – none successful – and Goldburg won by 1.347 seconds.
“I knew the start was super important so I was really on edge for that,” Goldburg said. “After that, it was run clean laps. The team was calling out the gap. I knew Garg was a little faster but I had a feeling where that would be and it would be pretty tough to pass, so I just stuck to my plan and focused on the traffic.
“Everything was just solid,” he added. “We were really strong for Race 1 but got held up at the start and all kinds of stuff, so happy to pull it out today.”
With the win, Goldburg unofficially leaves CTMP with a 50-point lead over Garg at the halfway point of the six-event, 12-race season.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It’s no wonder Dan Goldburg is itching to get back into IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge competition again.
When the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) and GT4 (GSX class) cars take to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for practice on Friday, it will have been nearly four months since the new sprint series conducted a race. On top of that, it’s been a decade since Goldburg – the LMP3 points leader heading into the weekend – has raced on the track he adores.
“CTMP is a rippin’ track,” said Goldburg, who drives the No. 73 JDC MotorSports Duqueine D08. “High speed, full commitment, blind corners – I love CTMP! It’s probably our highest average speed of any track we’ll visit this year.
“I was last at CTMP in 2013 in the IMSA Lites days,” he added. “The track is a bit different (now) – bumpier, some new asphalt patches and some runoff areas that didn’t used to be paved – but the essence is still the same. The LMP3 car really rips here. It should make for some great racing.”
Goldburg was the overall and LMP3 class winner in both 45-minute sprint races when the VP Racing Challenge debuted at Daytona International Speedway in January. He added a pair of podium results at Sebring International Raceway in March and holds a 60-point advantage on Bijoy Garg (No. 3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320). They head up a dozen LMP3 entries for CTMP, the largest LMP3 field to date in the new series.
Goldburg has worked to remain sharp during the long layoff between events. He’s raced a shifter kart at his local track whenever possible, gone testing in the LMP3 and was part of the JDC-Miller LMP3 lineup in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen International on June 25. Goldburg turned 52 race laps over two full stints as the No. 85 Duqueine finished ninth in class.
“It’s been some time since Sebring, but I’ve kept pretty active to be ready,” Goldburg said. “… I’m ‘primed and ready’ and looking forward to getting back on track with a solid field of 12 competitors in LMP3 for the CTMP races.”
Sixteen cars are entered in GSX at CTMP. Sebastian Carazo (No. 27 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport) is the class leader despite not winning a race yet. He’s on a streak of three straight podium finishes and leads Moisey Uretsky (No. 44 Accelerating Performance Aston Martin Vantage GT4) by 40 points atop the standings.
Two practice sessions and qualifying are scheduled for Friday at CTMP. Race 1 starts at 11:40 a.m. ET Saturday, with Race 2 at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Both races will stream live on Peacock in the U.S. and on IMSA.com/TVLive outside the U.S.
Two podium finishes for Dan Goldburg in his #73 JDC MotorSports Duqueine D08 keep him in the championship points lead.
In Race 1, Goldburg started on the outside pole and retained that position through to the finish.Race 2 was more exciting for the Florida driver. Again starting P2, Goldburg took the lead on the first lap and held it under pressure from Bijoy Garg and Antonio Serravalle for the first 30 minutes of the race. Garg got by in Turn 7 and Goldburg pressured him until a quick spin allowed Serratore by. Goldburg fought back to retain the 3rd position and his second podium of the weekend.Goldburg was the top Bronze driver in both races.
After 4 of 14 races of the series, Dan Goldburg leads a very tight championship by 60 points over Bijoy Garg and 160 over Brian Thienes.He has been the top Bronze driver in all four races this season and thus leads that championship, as well.
The next race for the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge is July 7-9 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.