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JDC-Miller Forgoes Le Mans Entry

JDC-Miller Motorsports forgoes planned Le Mans entry; focus on IMSA season…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

JDC-Miller Motorsports has elected to forgo its automatic invite to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, due to funding issues surrounding its planned Oreca 07 Gibson effort for the French endurance classic.

The Minnesota-based team was awarded the entry courtesy of Misha Goikhberg winning the Jim Trueman Award as the top sportsman in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class last year.

“After spending the past several months working towards participating in the event, the team regretfully informed IMSA, the ACO and their partners that some unexpected challenges came up late in the planning process,” the team said in an official statement.

“The team was unable to finalize arrangements that would have allowed them to be as competitive as they required for running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.

“JDC-Miller Motorsports would like to thank IMSA for their efforts in trying to work with the team to find a solution.

“The team would also like to apologize to IMSA and the ACO for being unable to fulfill the awarded invitation and any related difficulties caused to either organization.”

Ben Keating, the other recipient of IMSA’s two auto invites, has confirmed his entry, a Ferrari 488 GTE under the Keating Motorsports banner for himself, Jeroen Bleekemolen and a third, to-be-announced Silver-rated driver.

Keating’s entry will be run by Risi Competizione, which has elected to not return to the GTE-Pro class this year.

Scuderia Corsa, BAR1 on Reserve List

Fellow WeatherTech Championship teams Scuderia Corsa and BAR1 Motorsports, meanwhile, are on the reserve list for this year’s race.

The three-time and defending GT Daytona class champions, which claimed Le Mans GTE-Am class honors in 2016, had submitted two entry requests, with neither being confirmed for the race.

Its No. 62 car, with nominated driver Cooper MacNeil, sits fifth on the reserve list, with the Brian Alder-led BAR1 effort, with its Riley Mk. 30 Gibson, ninth of nine reserves.

Alder had targeting a Le Mans debut this year with his heavily revised LMP2 car. 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Alfaxa

    February 9, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Can’t IMSA introduce a rule that a team can only get one of their two automatic entries once they’ve finalized the funding?

    Right now this is silly, and not the first time an IMSA team forgoes a given automatic entry. Especially this year there were IMSA teams with funding, but got placed on the reserve list. Wouldn’t have happened with an automatic entry.

    • Andy Flynn's ghost

      February 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      Do we know if BAR has the funding in hand for the race? Saying Scuderia Corse could make the race is beside the point, the invite would be for a prototype team, as the GT team can actually make the event. Plus well, quite frankly screw Cooper and his toys.

    • thomas

      February 9, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      not really. Plenty of European and Asian teams have not been able to take up their auto entry over the years

      • Alfaxa

        February 9, 2018 at 6:57 pm

        But they received their auto-entry based on performance. In IMSA it’s sort of 50% performance based and 50% selection based.

        • Read the actual rules bud

          February 9, 2018 at 10:46 pm

          No, it went to the best gentleman driver in IMSA for 2017. It’s not selection at all, it’s points for an amateur driver

          • Alfaxa

            February 10, 2018 at 3:35 am

            For last years Le Mans 2 GTD teams received the auto-entry. Even though the ‘rules’ state 1 invite should go to the top amateur in prototypes, which didn’t happen.

    • Andy Flinn

      February 12, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Alfaxa, shouldn’t the invite be based on the most deserving team, not the team that can put up the most money?

      I heard or saw somewhere that it reportedly cost about $3 million to do Le Mans.

      For that money, Scuderia Corsa could probably fund an entire GTD season in the IMSA WeatherTech series.

  2. le mans

    February 9, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    It’s a tradition as old as time itself: the auto-invite team doesn’t go to Le Mans.

  3. Harry Manback

    February 9, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    An entire story on JDC-Miller and not one mention of “Banana Boat”???? Clearly, this is why SC365 is not the favored media outlet of true IMSA Fans.

    • jaysfan

      February 11, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Then what in the hell are you doing here? Go find your sports car racing news elsewhere bud!

  4. Bjones

    February 10, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Why you hating on SC65 and the Banana Boat? Great team who works hard and someone who is carrying on the racing Media for real fans, not the occasional keyboard operator in his mama’s kitchen.
    Just curious,how many of you know how much does it cost to race for one weekend in a foreign country? Well I know and that was sans entry fees. So to get someone to poney up a large amount of cash to run one race in Europe can be,well tough, even for a true face fan, with a lot of cash. Not to mention to get it post your pencil sharpeners in your company. So this is not a show up and drive event, their is a lot of activities tied to this race and the French do not take it lightly if you skip out on any of them.

  5. Kent Wenzel

    February 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

    This had to be an extremely difficult decision for John and his team.
    I think we can all relate to having to give up something we have worked very hard for
    because of financial concerns. Sportscar racing is one of many cruel sports.

  6. Purity

    February 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    What IMSA needs to do is have teams give them a financial report like a publicly traded company does for the SEC. If they are considered for an invite but the finances say they can’t really afford it, then they don’t get it. If the financials look like they can afford it yet they don’t go, then the team needs to be fined or just delisted from IMSA. This way we make sure the invites will go to LeMans and only the best to go. When I mean best, I mean financially.

    Time for IMSA to get tough on these teams. No more false hopes for us fans.

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