Of course, at this nascent stage of the GTP game, there really aren’t many secrets between two teams destined to battle one another during the 2023 WeatherTech Championship campaign, even though both will be carrying the Porsche standard.
“It’s all big-picture stuff,” Church says, “familiarizing ourselves with the car and the systems, understanding why things work the way they do. It’s all about getting miles rather than going fast at this point. The 36-hour test was very encouraging; relatively flawless. The car just kept running and pounding out the laps.
“It is a little frustrating having to wait, but we’re making the most of it and Porsche and Penske have been very supportive. We don’t have a firm delivery date for a car. We definitely won’t have the car for the Rolex 24 Hours. It’s possible we’ll be at Sebring, but at this point we’re not planning on it. All I can say for sure is that we’ll run it just as soon as we get it.”
Lest you get the wrong impression, JDC-Miller MotorSports will be very much in action in the opening rounds of the 2023 IMSA campaign at Daytona and Sebring, regardless of when delivery of the Porsche 963 takes place. The team plans to compete in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with a new Audi RS3 LMS TCR, renewing the relationship with Unitronic and drivers Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor, winners at Lime Rock last year as well as at Daytona and VIRginia International Raceway en route to sixth place in the 2021 Touring Car (TCR) standings.
“Michelin Pilot is a fun series,” says Church. “We’ve enjoyed our relationship with Unitronic and our success with Chris and Mike. Last year’s win at Lime Rock was especially rewarding given that, at the time, that generation of the Audi was the oldest homologated car in the series. So we’re really excited about the new car.”
And while the driver lineup has yet to be announced – much like the GTP program – JDC-Miller plans to run a Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) Duqueine at Daytona, Sebring and the full WeatherTech Championship LMP3 schedule – and perhaps the new VP Racing SportsCar Challenge. Memo Gidley and Alexander Koreiba finished second this season in the IMSA Prototype Challenge, the predecessor to the VP Racing Challenge.
“We got a win and three podiums with Memo and Alex last year and would like to keep them involved along with a new driver or two. But that depends on the budget scenario. It’s all one big puzzle – Michelin Pilot, LMP3, GTP – and each program represents one piece.”
Regardless of the particular pieces of the other programs, JDC-Miller MotorSports will be a keen observer of the GTP debut at the Rolex 24.
“Even though we won’t have a car, we’ll be there,” says Church. “Keeping a close eye on the GTP class, understanding what’s happening and why, and putting it all to good use with our own program when the time comes.”