Bryce Miller returns for another shot at one of the undisputed crown jewels of international motorsports this weekend as he teams with co-drivers Nick Tandy and Abdulaziz Al Faisal in the No. 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 RSR in the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12.
Miller and his No. 88 Porsche teammates will compete against many of the world’s top GT teams, drivers and manufacturers in the LM GTE Pro category. It will be Miller’s second time in the historic French endurance event following his Le Mans debut last year.
“There is an overwhelming spirit or aura about Le Mans that is so exciting and unique when compared to any other sports car races I have competed in,” Miller said. “The track itself covers so much territory and is so fast – you have this immediate respect for the place. I am just enjoying the feeling of Le Mans. It is a huge privilege to be here.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the second of four European rounds of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) in which Miller will compete with Team Felbermayr-Proton. He teamed with Horst Felbermayr Jr. in the No. 88 Porsche to finish fifth in the GTE Am class at the 1000 km of Spa last month and will also drive in the 6 Hours of Imola next month and the 6 Hours of Silverstone in September in addition to his full-time ride in the American Le Mans Series presented by Patrón.
But it’s all about Le Mans this week, where scrutineering, autograph sessions and other pre-event activities will give way to on-track activity at the 8.469-mile, 38-turn Circuit de la Sarthe on Wednesday. So what did Miller learn on his first visit last year?
“I learned quite a lesson when I replied to my team that I would try my best to do another lap when steering fluid was spitting on my windscreen,” he said. “The lap here is so long that in many cases you cannot afford to predict trends or tempt fate – the cost can be too dire. By the end of that lap, I could barely see anything. The windshield was covered. That is one experience and piece of respect that I bring with me to the circuit this year.”
And what does Miller think about his and the team’s chances for success? After all, it is a particularly stout lineup of men and machinery in the GTE Pro class, which he got to see first hand during the official test day at Le Mans in April.
“I think our chances are reasonable,” he said. “While our driver squad is relatively inexperienced at Le Mans, we have the combined raw talent to do the job and our strength as a team unit I think showed at the official test days. Tandy and Al Faisal are both very approachable people and this always makes for a good work dynamic when trying to find a car setup everyone can agree on.”
The on-track action gets underway with practice on Wednesday at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET), followed by Qualifying 1 at 10 p.m. local (4 p.m. ET). Thursday’s schedule features two more qualifying sessions, one from 7 to 9 p.m. local time (1 to 3 p.m. ET) and the second from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. (4 to 6 p.m. ET).
Friday features no on-track activity, but an immensely popular fan pit walk and drivers’ parade. Saturday’s race day schedule includes a 45-minute warm-up beginning at 9 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) with the race slated to begin at 3 p.m. local on Saturday afternoon (9 a.m. ET).
SPEED and SPEED.com will provide complete live coverage throughout the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the United States. Television coverage begins at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday and runs through 11:30 a.m. before switching over to SPEED.com streaming from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
SPEED television resumes from 3:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday afternoon/evening, followed by another three-hour stretch of streaming from 8 to 11 p.m. SPEED television takes over again at 11 p.m. ET and will remain on the air through the checkered flag and post-race ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Live online timing & scoring from all on-track sessions is also available at lemans.org as well as live online audio on radiolemans.com.
- Bryce Miller