Luke Hines' hopes of taking his first American Le Mans Series GTC class win in the final Series round - Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta - have been dashed following the withdrawal of the Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 car. The Paul Miller...
Luke Hines' hopes of taking his first American Le Mans Series GTC class win in the final Series round - Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta - have been dashed following the withdrawal of the Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 car.
The Paul Miller Racing owner, drivers and crew made the difficult decision to withdraw from the race on Saturday, opting for safety over potentially dangerous, slow laps.
The crew have worked around the clock to build a brand new car in time for the season finale event following Hines' massive accident at Mosport International Raceway, when he was hit by a prototype car when leading the GTC class.
Despite the team's best efforts, a mystery issue remained, causing the car to snap sideways at speed, a situation that threatened the safety of the team's drivers, Hines, Pierre Ehret (Tegernsee, Germany) and Bryce Miller (Summit, N.J., USA).
The crew worked until 4am Saturday to identify and fix the problem, but Hines' stint in this morning's warm-up session showed the car was still unstable.
Poor luck has hounded Hines, the leading sportscar racer who hails from Harlow, Essex, and the Paul Miller Racing team.
Since joining the Georgia, USA, based team mid-season at Laguna Seca, the strong pairing of Hines and Miller has led the GTC field at every round since Salt Lake City, notching up three fifth places and two fourth place finishes.
With that impressive track record, it was only going to be a matter of time before Paul Miller Racing took its first GTC class win and all eyes were on Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, to finish the season on a high.
Luke Hines commented: "We've been struck with more bad luck. This chassis has had a severe twist or something and it's a serious problem that's been evident through every track session here at Road Atlanta.
"The problem is in the very fast corners, the last corner, even down the straight where we've got a little right kink. The car just wants to go sideways. Since the warm-up this morning, there's a bit of grip, but at every right-hander the car just wants to spin every time you hit the brakes. It just wants to go straight into the wall.
"The Paul Miller Racing team has worked so hard. They were here until four o'clock this morning and we're all just gutted.
"We're here for the safety of everything, the drivers, the crew and the car. Bryce and I and the whole team decided that it's not going to work out for the car to be out on the track. We've had our fair share of bad luck all year, so maybe next year we can turn a new leaf."