By IMSA Wire Service
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – It’s safe to say that missing the podium one race ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park did not sit well with Paul Miller Racing.
After seeing its five-race podium streak in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship come to an end two weeks ago, the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow powered to the GT Daytona (GTD) class win in Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
While five manufacturers took their turn atop the leaderboard throughout the race, the No. 48 Lamborghini proved to be the strongest of the day as they led the final 63 laps of the two-hour, 40-minute race. By the race’s end, however, six different manufacturers made up the top six finishers.
“It was a great race,” said Snow. “Anytime you end up on the podium, it’s good, and when you win, it can’t get any better. Bryan gave me the car in a position where there was nobody around, so I just sat there and did laps. That’s a lot of pressure when you’re handed the car like that. You do everything you can to keep the car there and stay ahead. No matter how big of a gap you have to the people behind you, it’s never enough. You’re always nervous.”
The victory is the second of 2018 for Paul Miller Racing, which is based two hours down the road from Lime Rock in Parsippany, New Jersey. The team’s previous win this season came at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. With six podiums now on the season, Sellers and Snow widened their lead in the GTD championship standings to 10 points (218-208) over Katherine Legge, who finished fourth in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 with Alvaro Parente.
“It’s so hard to find words in moments like this,” added Sellers. “The wins don’t come often, so this is great. There isn’t a strong enough word to describe how today was. We had some issues early in the week, and the guys were able to fix it and get us moving to deliver a win to Paul in front of his home crowd at his home track.
Nabbing their second consecutive podium finish was Andy Lally and John Potter in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3. Lally’s drive to the front for second place was one of the more impressive performances of the race, in addition to that of Gunnar Jeannette, who overcame a spin during his stint to finish third with co-driver Cooper MacNeil in the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
The WeatherTech Championship returns to action in two weeks at Road America for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase on Sunday, Aug. 5. The race signals the return of the Prototype class following Lime Rock’s GT-only event and can be seen live on FS1 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race will be carried live by IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio (Sirius 138/XM 202/App 972).
Andy Lally, Driver – No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3
“This is, hands down, the most thrilling race of the year. It’s fun at the end when you’re reflecting on a wild day but man, it is never not a battle. I just told the other guys, if you don’t get out of the car and at least one guy isn’t really mad at you, you haven’t done your job. We had a good scrap out there.
“Thank you Audi, thank you (team owner/co-driver) John Potter who had, hands down, the stint of his life. We had a brake issue to take the green. He dealt with it, changed the ABS, came back through, gained on the pack and was right on the bumper of third place when we pitted, so it was awesome.”
Cooper MacNeil, Driver – No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3
“Anytime you can get on the podium in this championship, especially in GTD, is a great day because of the level of competition here. Big thanks to Scuderia Corsa and WeatherTech for the perseverance and the support.
“Keeping the car under me was the most important part, so that way I was able to keep with Sellers and (No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 driver Dominik) Baumann and eventually get around Baumann in P4 to hand the car off to Gunnar in P4. Then he drove great to P2 and inherited P1 due to a pit stop. He was leading, but was pushing a little too hard and had an off. We dropped down to sixth or seventh and it was up to him to redeem himself and claw his way back and that’s what he did. We finished P3 and a podium is a good day.”