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Podium Finish for Unitronic JDC-Miller Audi at Road America

Aug 09th, 2023 EventsMotorsports

The seventh round of the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season kicked off in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Road America 120. Entering the weekend sitting third in the championship, the Unitronic JDC-Miller Motorsports Team knew it was a high-stakes opportunity to claim valuable points in their pursuit for the championship title.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

Coming off of a disappointing finish at Lime Rock Park just a few weeks prior, the Audi came out with a vengeance as the #17 TCR topped the standings in the first practice, as both drivers and crew dialed in the setup for the new track surface at the Road America circuit.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

“The new track surface provided a unique challenge to all of the teams and drivers. From the first practice laps it was clear that the team had given us a great car but it was still tricky with such limited grip if you were even a foot off the racing line. It was great to be fastest in the first session but we also knew that the track would probably evolve a lot throughout the weekend, adding to the complexity of the task. The JDC guys are the best in the paddock so I knew we were up to the challenge.” said Chris Miller, co-driver on the #17 RS 3 LMS TCR.

Chris Miller

The #17 Audi TCR’s pace continued through the busy action packed Saturday’s Free Practice 2 and Qualifying, as Chris Miller set a best fast-lap of 2:17.459, a mere two-tenths back from P1 and resulting in a 3rd place starting position for the Road America 120.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

A slightly different schedule format, combined with the enthusiastic crowds and the beautiful Road America facilities brought the fans out in record numbers to catch race action live and in person for Sunday afternoon’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. Starting from third on the grid with Chris Miller behind the wheel, the unique rolling staggered starts in IMSA competition means each driver must pilot their car in their respective position and lane until crossing the start finish line when the green flag waves. With one of the Hyundai’s jumping out of position on the race start, Miller initially lost a position as a result. With the improper race start penalty to the Hyundai and after an early full course caution, the Audi would not only recoup its position, but also quickly move into the lead of the race on lap six with the talented driving of Chris Miller.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

With the early full course caution and with a healthy gap to the competition, lead Engineer and Strategist Cole Scrogham made the call to Miller for a “Plan C” strategy, resulting in focusing heavily on fuel savings and preserving the tires. The Road America circuit is high-speed and one that is composed of minimal time off throttle, making it a challenge to not only stay ahead, but also manage fuel economy and tires.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

Miller expertly managed fuel and tires throughout the remainder of his stint, handing it over to South African born Mikey Taylor with just over half of the race remaining, on what would turn out to be a 46 lap battle. Although the JDC-Miller Motorsports crew executed a great pit stop, Taylor came back out in fifth, losing a few spots while in the pits, most notably to the No. 33 and 98 Hyundai’s, the team’s rival’s in the championship points standings.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

Taylor, also having to manage fuel and tires throughout his entire stint, slowly found opportunities to get past the cars ahead, eventually moving back into the lead nine laps later. With the Alfa Romeo charging through the pack behind, Taylor would maintain the lead until the penultimate lap, but couldn’t hold off the Alfa, which carries 95 kg less weight than the #17 Gen2 Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, and ultimately resulting in the Alfa having enough fuel in the tank to push hard in closing laps.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

“Of course we always want to be on the top step of the podium but it’s hard to be unhappy with a second place and some very valuable championship points! I’m proud of the effort we’ve put into rebounding from Lime Rock, Chris did a great job all weekend and so did the Unitronic JDC-Miller crew! I can’t wait to continue this close championship battle in Virginia in a few weeks!” Taylor said.

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

This P2 finish adds more crucial points to the Unitronic JDC-Miller Motorsports Team’s championship tally, which leaps them into 2nd Place in the championship standings with three rounds remaining in the season.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: Michelin Pilot Challenge 2023

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

The next race of the season brings the team back down to VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, VA on August 25-26th where they hope to repeat their victory from the 2021 season. Stay up to date on all our activities, learn more about the team, our pro drivers, the #17 RS 3 LMS TCR race car, our tremendous sponsors and shop for team merch HERE. Tune into the UNITRONIC social media channels or IMSA.TV for race coverage of all ten championship events!

Unitronic JDC RS3 TCR

UNITRONIC® engineers industry-leading aftermarket performance enhancing software and hardware for Audi®, Volkswagen®, Seat®, and Skoda® cars worldwide. Best known for its performance software engine and transmission calibrations, Unitronic enhances vehicle performance while maintaining complete OEM-like reliability and drivability. Unitronic’s UniCONNECT+ Programming and Diagnostic Interface empowers Unitronic Clients to safely reprogram their engine and transmission control modules from the comfort of home, anywhere in the world. Learn more about Unitronic's competitive advantage at www.getunitronic.com

JDC-MILLER MOTORSPORTS is a world-class multiple championship winning sportscar racing team, with a total of 18 championships, 60 wins, 57 pole positions, and 195 podiums, most of which coming by way of their Prototype class programs running in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. Highlights include an Overall Win at the Six Hours at Watkins Glen in 2018, 2017 Winner Extreme Spirit Award, and 2017 Winner Jim Trueman Award, providing the team an automatic entry into the 2018 24 Hours of LeMans. Learn more at www.jdcmotorsport.com

About LIQUI MOLY USA – Canada
LIQUI MOLY USA – Canada is a subsidiary of LIQUI MOLY GmbH, a global motor oil and additive company based in Germany selling products in more than 150 countries. LIQUI MOLY offers more than 4,000 items globally covering automotive, powersports, commercial vehicles, boats and watercraft and more. LIQUI MOLY USA - Canada is actively involved in motorsports in numerous capacities highlighted by teams in IMSA USA and IMSA Canada, TC America and Trans AM. Learn more at www.liqui-moly.com

Out There Brands was founded by professional racing driver Mikey Taylor. He saw a need for a company that offers extreme personalization and customer service in the branding industry and founded OTB in order to fill it. Producing custom-made displays and apparel to bring attention to our customers. Using his experience in the motorsport industry, Mikey focused on working with suppliers and forming partnerships to utilize only the best materials and products from around the world to deliver durable, cost-effective and stand out products! Learn more at www.OutThereBrands.com

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