DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If you want an early indication on the odds of Paul Miller Racing enjoying a successful IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season, look no further than the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Last year, Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, Corey Lewis and Andrea Caldarelli drove PMR’s No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 into victory lane in the Rolex 24. Ultimately, Sellers, Snow and Lewis captured the GT Daytona (GTD) crown in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup that awards points at each of the four long-distance events.
In 2018, Sellers, Snow and Caldarelli (along with Bryce Miller) finished third driving the No. 48 in the season-opening Rolex 24. Sellers, Snow and Lewis followed that by winning the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. It propelled Sellers and Snow to the overall GTD drivers’ championship, along with the team and manufacturer class titles.
On the other hand, a 15th-place finish in the 2019 Rolex 24 presaged an uneven campaign that produced a 10th-place finish in the season-long GTD standings, albeit with a victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
So the fact that PMR’s No. 1 Lamborghini finished third in GTD this year at the Rolex 24 figures to be a good omen for the team’s chances this season.
“Daytona has been a good place for us the last couple of years, for sure,” says Sellers. “One of the things about the Rolex 24 Hours is that because it’s such a difficult event, it’s hard when you have a bad race to dig yourself out of that hole for the rest of the season. That’s the reality: You get a lot of cars there that don’t compete for the full-season points and they can take points away that you might otherwise get if you have a tough race. You can finish on the podium in that race and your next closest competitor for the season championship can be sixth or seventh, so that’s a big points swing.
“A solid finish at Daytona is super important to start the campaign off in the right way, and we’ve been fortunate to have a couple of years that are strong like that. Now as to what it actually means for the rest of the season, it’s nothing, because Daytona is so extremely different from anywhere else we go.”
Be the races 2 hours and 40 minutes or six, 10, 12 or 24 hours long, one relative constant at PMR has been the driver lineup. It’s featured Sellers and Snow for the entire season, added Lewis in the endurance events and Caldarelli for the 24 hours at Daytona for most of the past few seasons. It’s no coincidence that the lineup has enjoyed considerable success.
“It’s been the three of us for quite some time with the addition of Andrea at Daytona,” says Snow. “Some of the GTLM cars have that same stability, but a lot of the GTD cars don’t have that stability that we have, so that makes it easier for us working on the car for those endurance races, to get along well and feed off each other.”
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