IMSA: Rolex 24 GTD class winner Paul Miller Racing to skip July races

David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
0 Comments

Paul Miller Racing, the GT Daytona class winner in January’s Rolex 24, will not run next month’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship races at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway.

Team owner Paul Miller first confirmed the news to SportsCar365.com.

Miller cited economic issues related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly among his group of car dealerships in New Jersey.

“A high percentage of our employees are still on furlough here in New Jersey, and obviously I like to have everybody back before I consider a direction for our little racing program,” he told SportsCar365. “That’s kind of the big-picture view of it. To go racing and not have our staff all recovered and pulled back and working, it would be a real slap in the face to a lot of our employees.”

Earlier today, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) lifted his state’s stay-at-home order, which should help Miller in bringing back personnel.

Miller also confirmed his Georgia-based PMR team was furloughed, too. However, he hopes to return to action later in the season.

“It’s possible we’re going to be race-to-race after July and hoping we can move forward with the race effort,” he told SC365.

Paul Miller Racing fields the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO with full-season drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.

Sellers and Snow, plus Corey Lewis and Andrea Caldarelli, gave the team its first Rolex 24 win in January. The quartet turned in a near-flawless drive to give Lamborghini its third consecutive GTD victory in the event.

But any chance to keep momentum was dashed when the 2020 season was put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, IMSA released a revised schedule with Daytona leading off again on July 4 and followed by Sebring on July 18.

IMSA’s fourth race of the season is scheduled at Road America on Aug. 2.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.