Paul Miller Racing could revert to its spare Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo chassis for the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park following an early exit from the weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
A heavy accident in practice the No. 48 car of Ryan Hardwick, following contact with the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R of Tristan Vautier, forced the defending IMSA GT Daytona championship-winning squad out of the CTMP event.
While yet to fully assess the extent of the chassis damage sustained, team manager Mitchell Simmons said the accident has forced a change of plans for the Georgia-based team, which was planning to remain in the Northeast between events.
Instead, the team’s transporter departed Canada on Saturday evening for its shop in Buford, Ga., where it plans to regroup and potentially rebuild the car around its spare 2019 Evo-spec Lamborghini chassis.
“This changes things a little bit,” Simmons told Sportscar365 on Saturday afternoon at CTMP.
“Even if we have to re-tub it, we’ll get it done and we’ll be back. I’m sure glad it happened this weekend and not the last week. That would have been really tough.
“We’ll get back to the shop, get the car disassembled, asses the damage, get it ready and then be at Lime Rock.”
Simmons said he’s already received the OK from IMSA to utilize its spare chassis, which completed a rollout at Mid-Ohio earlier this year in a No. 49 numberplate, if needed.
“We bought two cars, we’re prepared for it and is something you have to deal with, knowing this field, as competitive as it is, the guys are driving 10/10ths all the time,” he added.
“We’ve got plenty of spares.”
Sellers: Weekend-Ending Accident “Gut-Wrenching” for Team
Bryan Sellers said the early end to the weekend at CTMP was difficult for the team, particularly after a challenging start to the season.
Sellers and new-for-2019 co-driver Hardwick have scored only a single podium finish this year and headed into the CTMP weekend sitting 11th in the GTD points standings.
“Days like today are unfortunately extremely difficult,” Sellers said. “To get caught up in an incident like that—especially in practice—which is nobody’s fault. It’s gut-wrenching to see the car come back the way it does.
“I think we had a good race car and Ryan was learning so much along the way. You feel bad because this is the hard stretch of the season for the guys.
“There is a lot of work and a lot of time on the road, and now we have to figure out how to make this all work.
“Luckily for us, we have the best guys in the paddock, and if anyone can get it done and turned around and put back into place, it would be our guys.”