Bryce Miller had a strong start to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on Sunday. The Summit, N.J., driver started from third on the GT class grid and was pressing for second place when a ...
Bryce Miller had a strong start to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on Sunday. The Summit, N.J., driver started from third on the GT class grid and was pressing for second place when a miscue took him out of contention after 58 minutes of the two-hour 45-minute race.
Miller was turning consistently fast laps in the No. 30 Mazda RX-8 prepared by Racers Edge Motorsports, despite high ambient temperatures and slippery conditions on the 2.238-mile road course. A pit stop for fuel and tires during an early caution period dropped him back to 10th in class, but he quickly regained the positions. He was poised to take second place before handing off to Dane Cameron of Sonoma, Calif., who was set to drive the second half of the race.
"The crew gave us a car that surely was a podium car. I was really biding my time in third position; we had second place in our sights and the positions were just coming back to us," Miller explained. "I kept adapting to some understeer we had in the car and I was moving my turning points back further and further. Eventually, it caught me out and I caught one of the peaks on the inside of the curbs.That caused a tire puncture and some other damage to the left-front suspension."
Miller was able to get the car back to pit lane, but the broken suspension could not be repaired and the car was retired from the race.
After thanking his crew for an excellent car, Miller visited the IPC Systems pit suite, anticipating the difficult task of explaining why his sponsor's car was out of the race. Instead, he was greeted by applause for his fast run with the GT leaders.
"It's been a real joy to have everyone from IPC here and to have their support. Especially at a time like this, it's nice to have some people cheering for us because it's a pretty low point," Miller said. "But I'm happy we could put on a show for them and challenge for some top spots. We know what we can do now, so we just have to keep our heads down and focused on the next event."
The next Rolex Series race will be a six-hour endurance event at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y., on June 6.