Bryan Sellers says Paul Miller Racing will come back stronger after showcasing the pace to win Saturday’s TireRack Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
A slower fuel delivery ultimately cost the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo a chance of GT Daytona class honors in the six-hour enduro after dominating the opening stages.
Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis were forced to settle for a second place finish after losing out to the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo in pit lane.
The trio, who won January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, combined to lead 136 of the 245-lap race in GTD but dropped to third following the second-to-final round of pit stops with less than two hours to go.
The Lamborghini spent 21 seconds longer in the pits over the course of the race compared to the class-winning Acura, although the margin was neutralized with a late-race yellow that saw Sellers hold on to finish second.
Sellers admitted some disappointment post-race, although understood the team’s cautious approach following its post-race penalty for a fuel capacity infringement last month in its series return at Virginia International Raceway.
“You hate to make excuses but that’s basically what it was,” he told Sportscar365. “Of course what happened in VIR, we wanted to make sure we were above and beyond compliant.
“In that final stop I think we were like five or six seconds longer on fueling than the Acura.
“At the end of the day, this is what happens when you’re out of practice. I don’t mean that in terms that the team made a mistake; you just have less time to dial it in.”
Per IMSA rules, GTD cars have a 40-second minimum full refueling time, which is regulated by the team’s choice of refueling restrictors declared prior to the weekend.
Making matters more difficult, the Lamborghinis received a 2-liter reduction in fuel capacity for this event.
“[MSR] continues to prove they have a great program,” Seller said. “They have a great car and great lineup. We’re going to come back stronger for them next time because this one bites a little bit.
“You want to win but it’s not bitter. They just did a little better job than what we did today. Unfortunately that’s what cost us the win. We’ll come back and figure it out and go again.”
Despite missing out on the win, the team has extended its lead in the Michelin Endurance Cup standings heading into next month’s Motul Petit Le Mans.