Bryan Sellers is set to begin a new chapter in his career in 2016, as the GT veteran joins Paul Miller Racing with its new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 program after a long and successful tenure with Team Falken Tire.
The 33-year-old Georgian, who spent the last seven years piloting Falken-shod Porsches in IMSA competition, feels fortunate to have landed in one of the most highly sought-after available seats in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship following the conclusion of the Japanese tire manufacturer’s program this year.
“I think at the moment it’s no surprise to anybody how difficult the market is right now,” Sellers told Sportscar365. “There’s not a lot of movement anywhere.
“To be able to land in a good program is such a breath of fresh air. You look at what Paul Miller Racing has been able to do over the past couple of years with Dion [von Moltke] and Christopher [Haase], I think it shows the professionalism of the program.
“For me to step out of one great program and move into another great program is a luxury that not many people are blessed with. I’m excited to come in with a new brand to the series, for me a new program, a new co-driver, get started and get my hands dirty.”
Teaming with rising star Madison Snow in the Huracán GT3, the 2016 season will not only mark a significant departure from Paul Miller’s past, but also for Sellers, who makes the transition from the GTLM to GTD class.
While he admits there will be a learning curve, Sellers doesn’t expect the level of competition to be any different in the Pro-Am enforced class, which adopts full FIA GT3 regulations next year.
“I think we were in a little bit of a tire and manufacturer prime [in GTLM] where everyone was pushing to the maximum of their ability,” Sellers said. “We were constantly testing products, dampers, tires and I think it was a constant evolution. That’s what was great about that class because you had to stay on top of it.
“I think the difficulty with doing GTD is that there’s a lot of high-rate programs and a lot of high-rate drivers that have done it for a couple of years now and have been able to get a feeling for what the tire likes. Those are things that are going to take me some time to adapt to and learn.
“For me, that’s the benefit for coming into a program like Paul Miller. They’ve been there, they understand what the tire looks for and what they need. It takes some of the guesswork out of it for me. I think that’s a great position to be in.”
Sellers got his first taste of the V10-powered beast during a shakedown at Road Atlanta earlier this month, which provided the Mitchell Simmons-led crew an opportunity to get started on their 2016 program, albeit with an interim chassis.
While only getting a handful of laps, in mixed conditions, Sellers praised the Huracán GT3’s feel from within the cockpit.
“It’s hard to get a feel for where exactly where we are to begin with but I think our intentions was to get an idea of what we need to do ergonomically inside the car,” he said.
“What they’ve actually done a really good job of is improving the ergonomics over the year. I was pretty impressed how they set everything up on the inside of the car, from the movable pedal box to the fixed seat so you have the increased safety.”
With the majority of GTD teams starting off fresh with new GT3 machinery, Sellers feels 2016 could be Paul Miller’s year to break through for the title, after finishing second and third in the championship the last two seasons.
“Everyone’s end game is to win the championship,” Sellers said. “But when I first started talking to Paul about this, the one thing we were both adamant with, and I think helped get the deal moving in the right direction, was that we both want to be in a position to try and win races every single weekend.
“If we’re able to do that and we’re able to be competitive and dot the i’s and cross the t’s throughout the season, then the rest will take care of itself. if it doesn’t, then we’ll have to take a step back, re-evaluate where our shortcomings are and address those.
“The championship is the priority but there’s a lot of good cars, good teams and good drivers that are going to stand in our way, just like we’re going to stand in theirs.”