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Sellers: Paul Miller “Tossed into Deep End” With New M4 GT3

Bryan Sellers confident PMR will not suffer major reliability problems during new car’s maiden outing…

Photo: John Dagys

Bryan Sellers says he’s confident that Paul Miller Racing will not suffer significant issues with the team’s new BMW M4 GT3 during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, although he admits the team is jumping “into the deep end” after only completing two days of testing.

The team will have its maiden race with BMW’s new GT3 challenger during this weekend’s 12-hour enduro after sitting out the Rolex 24 at Daytona because the car could not be delivered in time.

The team made the switch from Lamborghini to BMW over the winter.

At Daytona, both the Team RLL factory cars and Turner Motorsport encountered issues with the car, most notably relating to the rear diffuser.

Despite these issues, Sellers expressed confidence at the team’s shape at Sebring, indicating he does not expect similar issues to the No. 1 car during this weekend’s event.

“I think our guys are as good as they come and I think that they’ve been able to put their hands and their eyes on the car at this point in time,” Sellers told Sportscar365.

“I think that they’ve gone into it trying to prepare like we’ve done every other race we’ve been in together.

“I actually feel pretty confident that we’re going to be okay.

“If something does happen, I think it’d be a little bit of the unknown and something out of our control. BMW put a lot of time and effort and development into this car and I think we’ll be okay.

“Daytona was obviously difficult for BMW. I think that they were doing everything they could to look for lap time and results, because of where their BoP was at.

“That tends to create issues when you start doing those types of things. So hopefully here, we’ll be in a little bit better position and we can race the way we’re meant to race.”

The team took delivery of the car in mid-February, resulting in a tight turnaround to its first race of the season this weekend.

Sellers said that while the time did complete a test with the car at Sebring earlier this month, the running was limited.

“We’ve done very little [testing],” he said. “We came here and did two days here. But when you do two days with a brand new car, it’s essentially like one by the time you get all your rollouts and system checks done and you get the crew an opportunity to look everything over.

“We did two days, but low kilometers for those two days. So it’s still pretty fresh for us. We’re going to be tossed in the deep end this weekend.”

Despite limited running and the previous teething problems for the new car, Sellers remains optimistic about the team’s chances in the race, saying he does not just view it as a learning weekend.

“We’ve been asked the question a lot: are we here just to test and to get through the race? Definitely not,” he said. “We’re not here just to test and just to learn, we’re here to compete.

“Hopefully, that means competing for a podium spot. We’re not naive and think that we’re going to come out here and be right at the pointy end and competing for a win right away.

“But I think if we play our cards right, running the race the right way, that maybe we can be in a position to take something home.

“It’s difficult because there’s always so much money that changes hands in these types of programs and so much work that goes in from the crews and the drivers and the engineers that you never just want to show up just to be here.”

Transition to Front-Engined Car ‘A Pleasant Surprise’

Sellers switches to the BMW M4 GT3 after six years of racing the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to considerable success, most notably scoring a class win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2020 and winning the GTD class title in 2018.

The difference in layout between the two cars is significant, with the Huracan being mid-engined while BMW’s latest GT3 machine has the engine placed in front of the driver.

“To be honest I think the transition from the mid-engined to front-engined is probably easier than the other way around,” Sellers explained.

“I think that when we first rolled out here, I was actually really impressed by how the car was pretty confidence-inspiring, balanced pretty nicely and with a fairly comfortable ride quality to it.

“It was a very pleasant surprise. So far it’s good but it’s like anything, until you get out into competition and everyone’s kind of going 100 percent you don’t know exactly where you’re at.

“I think the first test was promising. I think we were all happy with how it drove, but now it’s a different story going into race week.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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