Miller Barrett Racing has revealed that it will enter four Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races this year, although it is viewing the outings as a test programme to prepare for a full-season effort in 2010.
US sportscar regular Bryce Miller will be the lead driver of the team's #48 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which will carry the colours of long-time sponsors Marquis Jet, IPC Systems and Total Lubricants and be based in Braselton, Georgia.
While the team might be new, however, the partnership behind it has a long, successful history in sportscar racing. Miller's resume includes a Rolex Series GT team championship, class victories and a GT podium in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He finished second in class, fifth overall in the Total 24 Hours of Spa last month, adding another top result to the 21 podium finishes he earned between 2006-08.
His father Paul has extensive experience as both a driver and team owner, having led the Porsche factory effort in Trans-Am Series racing in the 1980s. He was also a leading IMSA endurance racer in his own right, co-driving with sportscar stars Bob Akin, Brian Redman and Hans Stuck, and competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours three times and at Daytona on nine occasions, topping the GTO class in 1988.
The two generations will share the expertise of Miller Barrett Racing team manager and engineer Eric Barrett, who started a 23-year career as a mechanic on Paul Miller's winning Trans-Am team, became crew chief for Miller Sr's SCCA team, then coached Bryce to more than 60 International Karting Federation wins. Barrett's international experience also includes work with top professional drivers like Akin, Charles Mendez and Dave White.
"I'm really excited about the partnership," Bryce Miller said, "We have a past relationship that created some good results and success, so hopefully that can be rekindled in this new project. We have had much success with our sponsors over the last few years, but having this opportunity lends us additional branding control to deliver added value to our partners.
"There's a lot of energy that's come together on the team. We've taken testing and the development of the car very seriously. That process has been a series of ups and downs that's natural in the building process, and the whole team has come together and bonded as a result of those experiences. That will help to accelerate the development of our effort, so we can compete for respectable positions in our first four races. Our goal is to use them as a pilot programme to establish a baseline for 2010."
Miller Barrett Racing will make its first appearance in a two-hour Rolex Series race at Watkins Glen International this Friday [7 August], where Porsche specialist Kevin Roush will share driving duties.
"Bryce and I have raced against each other many times and have even gotten to spray some champagne together on a few occasions, so teaming up with him now is awesome," Roush said, "I have every confidence that each member of the Miller Barrett team desires to come out strong and I know they have been working long and hard toward their Rolex debut. Certainly, we will all give 100 per cent to make it a success."