Les 24 Heures du Mans didn't end the way Bryce Miller wanted, but he returns to the United States with a wealth of memories and experience. Miller teamed with British drivers Rob Bell and Tim Sugden in the No. 92 Aston Martin Vantage prepared by...
Les 24 Heures du Mans didn't end the way Bryce Miller wanted, but he returns to the United States with a wealth of memories and experience.
Miller teamed with British drivers Rob Bell and Tim Sugden in the No. 92 Aston Martin Vantage prepared by JMW Motorsport. The trio struggled with brake system issues in practice and qualifying sessions before the June 12-13 race, so had to settle for a 13th-place start position on the GT2 grid. They made good use of the first hours of the race, working up to 10th before they were slowed by a long pitstop during the fifth hour to repair a broken steering pump.
Miller was behind the wheel just before the six-hour mark when the car snapped offline and he hurtled into the wall. He suffered a concussion and the resulting car damage forced the team to retire from the race. (Only half of the 56 entries were still running at the finish of the 24-hour race, testament to the challenge of the 13.629-km street and road course in Le Mans, France.)
"Unfortunately, our race efforts started to unravel around 8:30 pm," Miller reported. "Rob Bell was pulling some great times in the Vantage, but we became sidelined in the garage for 30-plus minutes while the team repaired a broken steering pump that contributed to an off for Rob. He drove the car back to the pits as best he could with limited visibility due to the steering fluid on the windshield, which later contributed to another off and stop that I had to make after the car was repaired. Otherwise the steering appeared okay after the repair and I was coming to the car after the stop.
"At the end of my stint, two laps before our next pit stop, I had an impact with the wall at the end of the Porsche Curves that ended our race. I sustained a pretty good concussion and am quite confused about the events leading up to the accident. The car had managed to get 'way offline and then veered back in the opposite direction of the next corner towards the wall for what was almost a direct head-on impact of 25 to 30 Gs. My doctor says it is normal at an impact like this to not remember the exact moments leading up to such a severe incident, but I cannot assume anything before knowing what happened. The next days will be important for me to review data and talk with the team about the car's condition in a hope that there may be something I can learn or take from what has happened."
Prior to the race, Miller summed his rookie Le Mans week: "It is an exhilarating experience -- something that feels as if it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- but of course, you look forward to and hope for the opportunity to come back for years to come."
Now he has more reason to return.
"I am grateful to JMW Aston Martin for the opportunity to drive at Le Mans. The experience has been a swing of emotions, but just that I've driven at this famed event has been a tremendous privilege and I will not forget the entire set of events that occurred over this week to deliver the experience that is Le Mans," he said. "I hope to come back and have the opportunity for redemption."
Bryce Miller raced at Le Mans with the support of two international sponsors. Marquis Jet is the recognized leader in private jet cards because it's the only program that offers exclusive access to NetJets -- the gold standard in private aviation -- 25 hours at a time. IPC Information Systems is a leading provider of mission-critical communications solutions to financial services firms.