When Madison Snow scored the overall GTD pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his third GTD pole in a row, he indicated it was a nice boost of confidence that Paul Miller Racing could run with the big dogs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO class. The newly minted gold-rated driver, along with his fellow GTD champion Bryan Sellers, will have the chance to prove it as Paul Miller Racing brings its two stars and its No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 to the GTD PRO class for 2024.
PMR had indicated its desire to move to GTD PRO earlier in the 2023 season, but until now the driving lineup had not been confirmed. It will indeed be the pair that has has had so much success with the team, including the 2018 and 2023 GTD championships. Neil Verhagen will fill the third driver role for the Michelin Endurance Cup races, and Sheldon van der Linde will join in for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“We are looking forward to stepping up to GTD PRO in 2024 and competing against truly some of the best in sports cars,” said team owner Paul Miller. “It will certainly be a challenge, with the teams in GTD PRO having access to full factory lineups and factory support beyond what you see in GTD, but I know we’re up for it. I have full faith in our program, and I believe the consistency of our organization, with Bryan and Madison having raced together since 2016 and entering out third year with the BMW, will be a huge benefit as we take on this new test.”
Snow and Sellers were an unstoppable force in 2023, setting records with five wins on their way to sealing up the championship before the Petit Le Mans finale. The pair have a long-running partnership, to the point where Sellers has stated that if he had to go racing without Snow, he’s not sure he’d want to do it anymore. Fortunately that’s not a decision he has to make in 2024.
Verhagen is a rising star in the racing world, and part of the BMW Junior Team. Since becoming the youngest driver to win the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in Formula F in 2016, he made his GT debut in 2020. Accomplishments since then for the 22-year-old from Ridgefield, Connecticut include a class win at the ADAC 24 Hours of Nurburgring and a Fanatec GT World Challenge America victory this season partnering with Samantha Tan at ST Racing. Daytona will mark his WeatherTech Championship debut.
South African racer van der Linde has been a BMW driver since 2019, and was the 2022 DTM champion. He has made several appearances in WeatherTech Championship endurance events, most recently with BMW M Team RLL in the No. 25 M Hybrid V8 GTP entry, in which he helped the team to a podium finish at Sebring.
“We’re thrilled to have two such accomplished drivers for BMW join our driver lineup in 2024,” said team manager Mitchell Simmons. “Both Neil and Sheldon are incredible talents and I think you would be hard pressed to come up with a better driver lineup for this BMW M4 GT3 than the four guys we have now.”