Minnesota’s JDC-Miller Motorsports team has shaken down its new ORECA 07-Gibson P2 chassis and will continue private testing before revealing the car at January’s Roar Before the 24.
The race-winning entrant in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship PC class will step up to the Prototype category with the French-built ORECA in FIA WEC P2 specification, joining PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (Ligier JS P217-Gibson), Starworks Motorsport (Riley Mk 30-Gibson) and Visit Florida Racing (Riley Mk 30-Gibson) as direct opposition to factory Daytona Prototype international programs from Cadillac, Mazda and Nissan.
Following a recent shakedown at the Paul Ricard circuit in France with sports car veteran Emmanuel Collard behind the wheel (pictured above), JDC-Miller’s ORECA 07 was shipped west and undergoing preparation for its first test.
“The car is in the shop now so we are planning to test next week, but there are a few obstacles to overcome,” team co-owner John Church told RACER. “For the most part it is all good. It’s busy trying to get 100 things to lineup, but or the most part it is all under control.”
The team will skip IMSA’s mid-December Daytona test in favor of running the ORECA 07 in solitude.
“We had our guys over in France for the last two weeks of the build, so we did a shakedown last Friday morning, just a very brief one because it was cold there at Paul Ricard – literally it was like zero or one degree,” Church said. “Basically, it was a leak check, then back to the shop and got it packed up and it left that night for the airport, so we need to do a proper test of our own with it before taking it to Daytona.
“We need to put our normal stuff in it, radios and drink system and the Bosch scrutineering system, make some seats for the drivers and build some setup tools. It’s a lot of little busy stuff like that – nothing that is major but it all takes time before you’re ready to go testing.”
Although JDC-Miller has yet to announce its driver lineup for its Prototype entry, the roster has been completed and will be seen at the January Daytona test.
“We are pretty much all set at this point,” Church added. “It’s going to be similar to what we have been doing; there will be some familiar faces. It’s all good. We will be at the Roar for sure, and obviously, running the whole season.”
Coming off a big PC win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and another at Long Beach, the transition to the Prototype class is coming at the right time for the team.
“It will for sure be a tough year, and we are going to be going up against a lot of top teams with top drivers, but it is not like we are way in over our head or anything like that,” Church said. “In my opinion, it is a huge challenge, but it is not something we can’t do.
“It is like every other challenge, you’ve just got to get started and start checking off the boxes and work your way through it and I’m sure we will make adjustments along the way. It is just trying to find your footing and see where you are at and where everyone else is that and what needs to be done to improve.”