Roger Miller (GRAND-AM photo)

Roger Miller, driver and son of Utah business icon Larry, dies unexpectedly

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Late, sad news has emerged after the weekend’s GRAND-AM events at Kansas Speedway. Roger Miller, a competitor in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and son of former Utah Jazz owner and businessman Larry H. Miller, died Sunday at age 45.

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, no cause of death was listed and the family issued a brief statement.

“Roger was a gentle soul and he will be missed,” his brother Greg Miller said in the statement.

Roger Miller competed with co-driver Ian James in Continental’s GS class, in a Dempsey Racing-prepared Ford Mustang Boss 302R. The pair finished 11th overall in Saturday’s SFP Grand Prix race at Kansas.

Larry H. Miller died in 2009. A businessman and philanthropist in Utah, he also had an impact on motorsports as he conceived the Miller Motorsports Park permanent road course outside Salt Lake City in Tooele, one of the country’s top road racing facilities. The full track was opened in 2006.

Further information is likely to follow in the coming days.

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m. ET, Monday: Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Racing team principal, tweeted the following on Monday morning:

 

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.