Paul Miller Racing is poised to make the switch to Blancpain GT World Challenge America, with an expanded two-car Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo effort in the works for 2019.
Sportscar365 has learned that the newly crowned IMSA GT Daytona class champions are in the final planning stages of the program, which will see Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow remain a driver pairing in a Pro class-entered Lamborghini alongside a yet-to-be-announced driver stepping up to GT3 competition from Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.
IMSA’s reclassification of Snow from the FIA’s Silver rating to Gold is understood to have played a direct factor in the team’s move, which according to team manager Mitchell Simmons, is already in the advanced stages.
“We’re in the throes of making it happen,” Simmons told Sportscar365. “We had some ideas that IMSA would maybe follow the FIA’s recommendation of Silver, but obviously they weren’t going to do that.
“Bryan and Madison work really well together. Madison thinks the world of Bryan and he still has a lot to learn from Bryan. He wants to stay with Bryan and that’s really where we’re going with this.”
Simmons admitted that the team “didn’t have a choice” if it wanted to retain the long-running driver combination, which delivered three WeatherTech Championship class wins since 2016, including this year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
IMSA rules require at least one Bronze or Silver-rated driver per lineup in GTD, with Blancpain GT America open to a variety of driver combinations.
“We can race anywhere in the world with Madison and Bryan except in IMSA, and unfortunately that’s where we really want to be,” Simmons said. “So we’ve had to change things around.
“This isn’t about trying to teach IMSA a lesson. For us, we’re spending a lot of money to race so we want to be as competitive as we can be. So that’s the reason for the move.”
The new two-car operation is set to see a split approach, with Sellers and Snow running for overall honors in the Pro class and its new gentleman driver in the GT3-Am class of the new-look series, which will feature two 90-minute races over seven weekends.
Simmons said they hope to finalize details of the program by the end of the week.
“There’s going to be a little bit of teary-eyed going forward,” Simmons said. “IMSA has been our home for almost ten years. We feel like we belong there.
“But it’s a new chapter. We’ve won in IMSA and now we’re going to go see if we can win in another series.
“You always look forward to new challenges.”