Bryan Sellers described Saturday’s FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix as a “one-of-a-kind” race for Paul Miller Racing, which came away with a last-gasp GTD class win.
Sellers and co-driver Madison Snow picked up their second victory of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season following a frantic GT-only contest at Lime Rock Park that ultimately saw the class leader run out of fuel on the final corner.
While Snow put the No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 into the class lead early on, a three-stop strategy shuffled the car down the running order until the race’s only-and-only full-course caution provided renewed hope for the team.
Sellers restarted in fourth and first benefitted from side-to-side contact between the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Philip Ellis and Aaron Telitz’s No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, followed by a pass on Maxime Martin for what was second at the time.
That turned into the lead on the final corner of the final lap when Ellis sputtered with no fuel left in his tank.
“This is a one-of-a-kind thing,” said Sellers. “We’ve had these ups and downs and ups and downs through the whole race.
“Early in the race, Madison had great stints and we were in the lead. Then all of a sudden they had to call an audible on the pit stand because we were bleeding lap time.
“Then we had to last longer than we’ve ever gone on a set of tires.
“You’re just balancing it as it went. The guys, today on the pit stand, did a fantastic job. They kept making the right calls over and over again.
“They gave Madison and I opportunities to be in clean air quite a bit, which I think was key.
“Then you get the late-race yellow and man talk about another rollercoaster.
“You’re coming down to the final corner and you see the 57 run out of fuel. Here you are thinking it’s by far the best car in the field and it should win hands-down and all of a sudden you see that it’s not going to.”
Sellers said the moment when Ellis ran out of fuel bunched up the entire pack, which led to a dramatic dash to the checkered flag.
“I [went] around the outside and then [I nearly] went off the road and got passed by two or three other cars,” he explained. “Luckily everyone spread the same and everyone had to check up.
“Those moments come down to luck. Today we were lucky. But you rather be lucky than good and I also think we put ourselves in position to be lucky.
“It’s just so great. We probably didn’t have the best car to win today. But we had the best group of guys to get it done. I’m super happy.”
Snow, meanwhile, said he was debating on the pit box whether he had even wished for the race to restart, with Sellers having run fourth at the time of the yellow.
“We were always good but sometimes we just weren’t doing great,” said Snow. “To end up with that… The yellow came and we were sitting on the timing stand like, ‘Do I want it to go green? Do I not want it to go green?’
“‘We had a locked-in fourth place is that good enough?’
“I was like, ‘No we want to be on the podium.’ But it’s so easy if it was worth taking the risk to fall back to fifth, sixth… Everybody was tight there.
“It ended up going back green and we got lucky. But as Bryan said, we had ourselves in a good position.
“There’s no better track and event for us to win than this race because it’s the home race for Paul Miller dealerships.”