Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, located in beautiful and sunny Monterey, California, is always a place that hosts great racing, fantastic scenery, and unrivaled weather. This past weekend was no exception for the Tudor United Sportscar Championship weekend. As a development series for the United Sportscar Championship, the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge Series offers one of the most talent packed fields in the world across two different classes of cars.
This past weekend, Miles made his debut in the Continental Tire Sportscar Championship (CTSC) with the up and coming Rebel Rock Racing team in the #87 ST-classified Porsche Cayman, codriving with Charles Espenlaub. The strong pairing of drivers combined with the Rebel Rock-prepped Porsche Cayman promised to be a threat at the front of the grid.
Through practice, the team chased a rogue electrical issue that was momentarily cutting power at random times, causing them to miss some of the practice laps leading up to qualifying. After some trial and error, the Rebel Rock guys completely swapped out multiple parts in order to remedy the situation. With the cutting issue sorted, the confidence was high leading into qualifying.
Miles was to qualify the car, as he would be starting the race before handing it off to Charles. After a strong few laps, Miles ended up putting the car P7 to start, and the 2nd Cayman. According to Miles, the speed was there to race with the guys ahead, and he was ready to get to work in the race.
Being Miles’ first start in the CTSC, he wasn’t sure what to expect coming to the green. Coming from a background of single-class fields, the separation and how spread out everything was caught Miles a bit off guard, dropping to 8th as the green flag flew. It didn’t take him long to get that spot back, and soon after Miles made a late braking move into turn 2, putting him 6th.
After capitalizing on a mistake on a car ahead, Miles was able to slot into 5th before a full course yellow brought the pace of the field down. Now about an hour in, some of the cars began to pit. Miles and the Rebel Rock team opted to stay out, and the call proved to be the right one as Miles ended up leading the field to the green from the restart.
After fending off pressure on the opening lap from a car behind, Miles began to drive away from the rest of the field. “It was an incredible feeling to be driving away from them like that” said Miles. “I knew that if I could keep growing the gap before I handed the car off to Charles that we would have a real shot at the top step on the podium.” As the hour-thirty mark approached quickly, Miles having built up a 6+ second gap, the 87 car was given the pit in call to change drivers the next lap.
Not long after, the 87 suffered a clutch failure and rolled to a stop heading up the hill to turn 6, ending their charge and eliminating their shot at a result. “I couldn’t believe it” recalled Miles. “I knew how hard everyone on the Rebel Rock team had worked to make it all possible, and I had grown a big gap to the cars behind… Then it was just done in an instant. It’s a good thing the microphone isn’t live all the time! I felt so bad for everyone on the Rebel Rock team and especially for Charles, who was prepped and ready to jump in the car in the pit box.”
All things considered, it was an absolutely fantastic effort by Miles, Charles, and the entire Rebel Rock Racing team. Having led for so long and in that fashion, heads are high heading into the remainder of the season.
“I just want to say thank you to the entire Rebel Rock Racing crew for working so hard and giving us a great car to go fight for the win with” said Miles. “I feel there is a very bright future for the Rebel Rock program and I’m looking forward to continuing my relationship with them in the future.”
Miles will be looking to drive for Rebel Rock in select events for the remainder of the 2014 season.
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