Ollie Millroy http://www.olliemillroy.com Ollie Millroy Website Sun, 10 Dec 2017 10:58:17 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://www.olliemillroy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cropped-favicon-96x96-32x32.png Ollie Millroy http://www.olliemillroy.com 32 32 Asian Le Mans Series – Fuji – 3rd December 2017 http://www.olliemillroy.com/asian-le-mans-series-fuji-3rd-december-2017/ Sun, 10 Dec 2017 10:58:17 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=1004 Asian Le Mans Series – Fuji – 3rd December 2017

 

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China GT Masters – Shanghai – August 2017 http://www.olliemillroy.com/china-gt-masters-shanghai-august-2017/ Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:36:40 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=996 I didn’t know about this race until I got a recent call from the Chinese team, FIST Auto, operated by the Taiwanese AAI Motorsports squad. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, as I’d heard a lot of good thing about the Mercedes AMG GT car, so it was going to be great to experience to try it first-hand.

 

The China GT Masters is a pro-am championship and I shared the car with my longstanding Asian Le Mans team mate, Junsan Chen. He did a great job in the car all weekend, including putting the car on pole position in his qualifying session. I also had a good session and qualified on pole, which set us up for a strong race weekend. However, due to a typhoon and possibly the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen, the start of race 1 was delayed and of course, wet! I started the race and got off to a good start, managing to pull a four second lead over the Audi in second position. Unfortunately, all of that hard work was undone when the safety car came out shortly before our pit stop so at this point, the team decided I handed the car over to Junsan for the remainder of the race. Unfortunately, although he fought hard, he couldn’t quite hold off the other AMG, so we had to settle for second position.

 

On Sunday it was Junsan’s turn to start the race from pole position, but through no fault of his, his lead was cut short when he got hit by an Audi at the first corner. Although this caused some body damage it wasn’t enough to take us out of the race and Junsan kept up a good pace to hand the car over to me at the halfway point, in third position. I made up one place during my stint to again finish on the podium in second position.

 

The team and the car were great and although we didn’t come away with the results we deserved, it was a solid weekend for FIST Auto, AAI Motorsports and AMG Driving Academy China and I look forward to working with them again.

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TOUGH END TO THE SEASON AT SEPANG FOR OLLIE AND TEAM AAI http://www.olliemillroy.com/tough-end-to-the-season-at-sepang-for-ollie-and-team-aai/ Sat, 04 Feb 2017 17:40:49 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=992 The final round of the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series at Sepang was a tough one for the whole team because no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t dial the car into the track. Sometimes a track suits a car, sometimes it doesn’t and this was one was the latter. Earlier in the season at Fuji, where the track temperature was low, the car had much more grip and the car was awesome, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be this weekend.
 
Having had only three weekends driving the BMW M6 GT3, I had to work extra hard on Friday in free practice, just to find the limits of the car and get a feeling for it on low grip. My  teammates, Junsan (San) Chen and Philipp Eng also had problems getting the best out the car, because unlike our competitors,we couldn’t put consistent fast laps together, which in a four hour race is a problem
 
Philipp started the race on Sunday and pitted almost straight away under the safety car to switch with San. Unfortunately because he had made contact  with another car on turn one, San had to take over with some body damage, which caused a lack of downforce throughout his stint. Luckily the team were able to repair this during the next pit stop for my 75 lap stint.
 
At the start the car felt awesome, however, after just one lap the tyres had already reached race temperature and continued to rise, causing the grip to quickly fall away. As a result it felt like a very long stint as all I could do was keep pushing hard and keep the pace up as much as possible until Phillipp took over with new tyres, on the correct pressures. A good stint by him brought the car home in a respectable seventh place, which although not the result we wanted, was the best we could expect on what turned out to be a tough weekend. 
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MILLROY AND TEAM AAI HIT WITH BAD LUCK IN ZHUHAI http://www.olliemillroy.com/millroy-and-team-aai-hit-with-bad-luck-in-zhuhai/ Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:27:25 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=983 Team AAI made the decision to retire their McLaren 650S GT3 just 15 minutes from the end of the Asian Le Mans Series race in Zhuhai due to an incurable technical issue.

26-year-old Ollie Millroy, along with co-drivers Jun-San Chen and Xavier Maassen, negotiated brilliantly through the GT class field to run as high as second, before a technical problem meant they had to retire the #91 McLaren 650S GT3 with the chequered flag in sight.

Following a successful test on Friday, the Taiwan-based team were unable to get any running done in the Saturday practice sessions as they were missing a compulsory homologated part, which had to be flown in from Shanghai. Because of this, all three drivers had to do at least one lap during the 15-minute qualifying session. As Millroy’s team-mate Xavier Maassen did not have enough time to complete a full lap, the squad had to line-up on the back of the grid.

Millroy took the start of the race and fought his way superbly through the chaos to climb up to second. The team then decided to make their mandatory driver change behind the safety car, with Chen taking over from the Brit just after the first hour mark.

Now on a different strategy to the majority of their competitors, the 2014 Asian Le Mans Series GT Champion ran an impressive stint and the team were confident that they would be able to gain their early advantage back by the end of the race.

Chen then handed over the car to Maassen for the final mandatory pit stop just after the halfway point. All looked to be going to plan, but another safety car came out just as the Dutchman pitted for fuel, meaning the team no longer had a strategic advantage over their opposition.

Then, with just 15 minutes to go – whilst the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans runner-up was running in seventh – the team encountered a technical issue and Maassen was forced to bring the McLaren into the pits to retire.

“It was just one of those weekends,” reflected Millroy. “We started off really well in testing on the Friday, but weren’t allowed to participate in either practice session on Saturday because we didn’t have a compulsory part fitted to the car.

“It’s a shame about qualifying, because if we had been able to get some laps in during practice we would have definitely started much higher up. My first stint felt incredible, it was chaotic with a few safety cars, but I enjoyed working my way through the field and by the time I handed the car over to Jun-San we were in second. I was very happy with that.

“Jun-San drove brilliantly during his stint, it was the best performance he’s produced while I’ve been racing with him and we were looking really good. Xavier was also doing a great job, the safety car didn’t work in our favour strategy wise, but we were still on for a decent result before the brake problem. Even with the late retirement we were classified eighth, giving us a handful of points to take forward to the next round.”

The next destination for Millroy will be the 4 Hours of Fuji on 4th December and he is confident that the fast nature of the circuit will favour his McLaren 650S GT3.

“Zhuhai was a tough circuit for us with a lot of slow corners and heavy braking zones,” Millroy explained. “I’m really looking forward to heading to the Fuji Speedway though as it’s a lot quicker and more suited to the McLaren’s great high-speed stability. I’m confident that we will be able to challenge for a good result there.”

ENDS

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MILLROY RETURNS TO ASIAN LE MANS SERIES WITH TEAM AAI http://www.olliemillroy.com/millroy-returns-to-asian-le-mans-series-with-team-aai/ Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:29:24 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=975 Professional sportscar driver Ollie Millroy will be re-joining Team AAI for the full Asian Le Mans Series 2016-17 season, with the aim to win the GT category and qualify for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 26-year-old has driven for the Taiwanese squad in the past two seasons, scoring six podiums out of seven races in total. However, Millroy and the team are aiming higher this year, with hopes that a switch to the McLaren 650S GT3 will give them a better shot at the title.

“There are going to be 31 cars overall this year, 15 of which will be GTs, so it will be extremely busy on track and very competitive,” said Ollie. “I’m really looking forward to getting out there, it’ll be my first time racing a McLaren in Asia. The plan with Team AAI is to try and win the class and secure a Le Mans entry for next year.

“The McLaren is really fast on the Michelin tyre, we’ve seen that in other championships, so I’m quite optimistic that we will be able to consistently fight at the front.”

The Surrey-based sportscar star will be partnering Jun-San Chen, who is also the team owner, for the second year running. The 53-year-old has previous success in the series, having won the GT title in 2014.

“I’ll be partnering Jun-San Chen again this year, which is great because he obviously knows the team very well,” Ollie explained. “With the change in the regulations this year, you must have a bronze graded driver in your line-up. It’s worked out well for us though, as Jun-San’s a very good bronze.

“We’re yet to find out who the third driver will be, I’m not sure when we will know, but I’m sure the team will make a sensible choice.”

The races will now be four hours long rather than three, with the first round of the championship taking place at the Zhuhai International Circuit (China), a track that Millroy is yet to experience.

“The first race will be in Zhuhai,” Ollie continued. “I’ve never driven there before, so that’s going to be interesting. I have commitments with McLaren in the P1 GTR programme, so unfortunately I’ll miss the first day of testing at the track. Friday will be a challenge but I’ve just got to get my head down, learn the car and we’ll be OK I’m sure!”

Asian Le Mans Series 2016-17 calendar

October 30th 2016: 4 Hours of Zhuhai, China
December 4th 2016: 4 Hours of Fuji, Japan
January 8th 2017: 4 Hours of Thailand
January 22nd 2017: 4 Hours of Sepang, Malaysia

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WEEKEND OF CONTRASTS FOR MILLROY IN MALAYSIA http://www.olliemillroy.com/weekend-of-contrasts-for-millroy-in-malaysia-2/ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 20:52:16 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=928 Ollie Millroy made a good impression on his first appearance in an LMP3 car at Sepang, taking pole position and a podium in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup series for Team AAI last weekend (May 28/29).

A downpour before qualifying mixed up the field, and Ollie managed to set a competitive time on the first flying lap of the session, which would be enough to secure pole for the #91 entry.

With crew-mate Jun-San Chen unable to compete due to food poisoning, Ollie had to take the car for the entire 60-minute race on Saturday, held in hot conditions.

Despite starting on pole, the Adess was quickly passed and fell back into third place, though the 25-year old eventually brought it home for a fine second place. On Sunday however, the team were unable to compete in race 2 due to a broken bellhousing.

“There are encouraging signs. We’re a lot closer than we were in Asian Le Mans Series, so the car is getting better every race. We’re looking forward to getting the updated parts from Adess,” Ollie said afterwards.

“I was able to help the team develop the car and my technical input made a difference. The team were very happy as this was the quickest it had been around this circuit by about two seconds, if you take away the improved track surface. We’ve made a massive step forward and we’ve got to do the same again.”

“It was a great experience to drive an LMP3 machine – it’s another box ticked for me. I had fun – it’s like being back in a Formula Renault. Having a bit less weight and downforce was good and I’d like to drive it again. The plan is to do the next race of the AsLMSC with the updates from Adess – we know the new bodywork is 20kg lighter. We’ll see where we are after that.”

The Englishman stayed in Malaysia after the race to help undertake development work on two very different machines: a BMW M6 GT3 and McLaren 650s GT3.

“The M6 GT3 is incredible, its very similar to the Ferrari 488 GT3 I drove at Motegi in the Super Taikyu Endurance Series. There’s lots of aero, a turbocharged engine and it’s very good on the brakes,” Ollie enthused.

“It feels big at low speed but it has tons of grip, and on lap six I was already quicker than I had been here in the Z4 GT3. I shook the car down with the engineers from BMW for the customer, Lam Yu, who races in AsLMS.

“We’ll also be in a 650s GT3. The McLaren is a completely different beast to the M6 GT3 and 488 GT3. It has a shorter wheelbase, but is a great car with lots of downforce.”

And the 25-year old hopes to continue competing in the region. “I know Team AAI are looking to compete in the AsLMS and I hope to continue to drive with Jun-San Chen and the rest of the crew,” said Ollie.

ENDS

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Millroy takes HubAuto Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 to remarkable recovery on Super Taikyu debut http://www.olliemillroy.com/millroy-takes-hubauto-racing-ferrari-488-gt3-to-remarkable-recovery-on-super-taikyu-debut-2/ Tue, 05 Apr 2016 11:40:00 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=917 Ollie Millroy defied bad luck and heavy traffic to claim a hard-earned eighth place in the top-flight ST-X class during his first ever Super Taikyu Endurance Series race, which took place at Twin Ring Motegi last weekend (April 3).

Faced with unfavourable odds after his HubAuto Racing crew hit trouble in the opening stages of the five-hour race, Millroy squeezed every inch of performance from his #89 Ferrari 488 GT3 racer during what he called the hardest stint of his career.

Despite never having raced at the challenging Japanese venue near Tokyo, the Briton refused to give up and was able to make the most of his spell at the wheel, using his strong pace to fully exploit the Italian car’s balance and resurrect his crew’s chances of a points-scoring result.

Cold ambient and track temperatures on Saturday gave Millroy and his co-drivers – Hiroki Yoshimoto, Yuya Sakamoto and Morris Chen – few opportunities to shine in qualifying, but the Surrey-based ace took his chance when the time came.

Despite the circuit’s succession of slow-speed bends favouring other ST-X machines over the Ferrari, Millroy pulled out all the stops to set the third fastest lap overall. However, the series’ aggregate qualifying system meant that his stellar efforts went unrewarded, with HubAuto Racing starting 10th for the following day’s showdown.

Race starter Chen kept a level head and consolidated the team’s position in the race’s first thirty minutes. However, an incident with a rival competitor left the Ferrari in the gravel, four laps from the lead and eight places worse off once the car resumed running, thus leaving Millroy with a significant challenge upon assuming the wheel 60 minutes into the race.

Tasked with rescuing a result for the team, the 25-year-old was unfazed by the adverse circumstances and showed superb pace to move from 18th up to 10th overall during his stint, setting several fastest laps along the way.

His solid work gave co-drivers Hiroki and Yuya renewed confidence and they combined to move up two more spots to eighth in class and overall by the chequered flag, thus securing a batch of all-important championship points.

“It certainly wasn’t easy out there, but considering the circumstances I’m very happy with how we came back,” said Millroy afterwards. “We knew from the outset that some of the other cars would be very quick, especially with the Balance of Performance regulations and Motegi’s huge number of slow-speed turns. Nevertheless, our car had fantastic pace and I was able to put in some very quick lap times during qualifying, so I was confident that we could march up the grid during the race.

“Morris was unlucky with the incident at the beginning. Our front splitter, and therefore the car’s aerodynamic performance, was affected as a result, but thankfully the damage wasn’t terminal and we managed to recover the car without returning it to the garage.

“My stint was really tough – probably the hardest I’ve ever done! There was a lot of time to be made up, as well as a fair number of slower cars to weave around, but that meant we could really see what our Ferrari 488 GT3 could do.

“It certainly didn’t disappoint and I was able to make a lot of progress by the time I had to hand over the reins. Hiroki and Yuya continued our progress and did a great job in bringing the car home to score some valuable points.

“All things considered I’m pleased with our result and delighted by how competitive the car was, so I look forward to being able to drive it again soon.”

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Millroy to compete for HubAuto Racing in Japanese Super Taikyu Endurance Series http://www.olliemillroy.com/millroy-to-compete-for-hubauto-racing-in-japanese-super-taikyu-endurance-series/ Thu, 10 Mar 2016 13:29:20 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=869 Sportscar star Ollie Millroy will drive with the HubAuto Racing team in Japan’s elite Super Taikyu Endurance Series for the 2016 championship curtain-raiser at Twin Ring Motegi (April 2/3).

The British ace, who secured multiple podiums throughout a successful Asian Le Mans Series GT campaign last season, will pilot the squad’s brand new #89 Ferrari 488 GT3 challenger in the elite ST-X class alongside fellow GT veterans Hiroki Yoshimoto, Morris Chen and Yuya Sakamoto.

Having evolved from the N1 Super Taikyu Series introduced in 1990, the Super Taikyu Endurance Series is widely regarded as one of Japan’s most competitive sportscar championships, and sees drivers race across six different categories at some of Japan’s highly revered circuits, including Grand Prix venues Suzuka and Fuji.

With a wealth of GT racing experience behind him, the 25-year-old Briton is looking forward to expanding his impressive Asian racing portfolio even more in the Land of the Rising Sun.

“Competing in the Super Taikyu Endurance Series with HubAuto Racing is a fantastic opportunity to further develop my Asian motorsport career,” said Millroy. “This series is one of the most competitive and sophisticated of its kind anywhere on the continent, so I can’t think of a better way to prepare myself for my ultimate goal of competing in Super GT.

“The team has a vast amount of world-class technical expertise at its disposal, too, and all of us have gelled together very well, which is highly important for a driver when making their series debut.

“I’m also thrilled to have guys like Hiroki, Morris and Yuya as team-mates. It’s great to have their sportscar expertise on board, especially when driving a brand new car such as the Ferrari 488 GT3. It’s a dream for any racing driver just to compete in a Ferrari, let alone one that performs as well as the 488 GT3, so I can’t wait to see what she’s got when we hit the ground running at Motegi.”

Ollie will make his competitive Super Taikyu debut at Twin Ring Motegi for the first round of the 2016 season, which takes place on April 2/3.

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Millroy secures strong second place in Asian Le Mans Series finale http://www.olliemillroy.com/millroy-secures-strong-second-place-in-asian-le-mans-series-finale/ Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:30:09 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=823 Ollie Millroy topped off a successful Asian Le Mans Series campaign with an excellent second place finish at Sepang in Malaysia last weekend (24 January) to give his AAI Motorsports crew a third consecutive podium this season.

The British ace negotiated sweltering track temperatures and heavy traffic in the contest’s opening stint to establish a 30-second lead over his GT class rivals, and a dominant victory looked on the cards after equally strong performances from his co-drivers Jun San Chen and Nobuteru Taniguchi.

However, an unexplained problem experienced by Taniguchi towards the end of the race significantly hindered their progress, causing their #91 BMW Z4 GT3 to lose the lead with only a handful of laps to go. The Japanese driver nevertheless fought valiantly until the chequered flag and secured the runner-up spot a comfortable 40 seconds clear of the next finisher.

In a bid to combat the superior single-lap pace of rivals using 2016-spec cars during Saturday’s qualifying session, Millroy strategically played to his older machine’s strengths by working on finding a set-up that would maximise the team’s performance on race day. Entrusted with qualifying duties as the fastest of his car’s trio, Millroy drove solidly to line up fourth on the grid.

Millroy’s Sunday performance was almost a carbon copy of that at the previous round in Thailand as he dispatched three GT class rivals within just five laps and, making full use of the set-up he carefully honed during practice and qualifying, slashed the gap to the first-placed GT car.

An early pit-stop from the category leader gave Millroy the opportunity to gain track position with a tactically-timed driver change a few laps later, which paid off perfectly after a smooth transition saw team owner Jun San emerge from the pits with a healthy lead at the head of the class.

Both Jun San and Taniguchi looked set to reward Millroy’s hard work with a well-deserved victory after two strong stints, until the mystery issue that reared its head in the closing stages made staying in front an impossible challenge.

The result marked a third straight podium finish for Millroy and his team-mates and promoted the trio to fourth in the overall championship standings after a hard-fought campaign.

“It’s been a tough season with some stiff competition, but scoring a podium in every race we’ve finished is a fantastic achievement and we should all be proud,” said Millroy afterwards. “The newer cars were astonishingly quick in Thailand, so we planned to counteract that and maximise our Z4’s strengths right from the get-go.

“As track temperatures were consistently in the mid-50s, we made tyre management a top priority for the race. Our car is very kind on its rubber, which allowed all of us to really put the hammer down and build a large gap to the rest of the class when it mattered.

“We don’t know what caused the problem towards the end of Nobuteru’s stint. Of course, it was a shame to lose our lead in such a way, but that happens in racing; we all need a bit of luck, and this time we didn’t have it! Nevertheless, we’ll do our best to look into what happened and make sure it doesn’t crop up again.”

As the sun sets on another highly rewarding campaign, Millroy is hungry for even more success in the near future.

“I’ve really enjoyed racing with Team AAI this year. It’s been a fantastically enjoyable ride,” Millroy enthused. “I’d love to compete in the Asian Le Mans Series next season as well, but I’m also considering a return to Europe. There are numerous options out there, so we’ll see what happens!”

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Millroy seizes hard-earned Asian Le Mans Series podium finish in Thailand http://www.olliemillroy.com/millroy-seizes-hard-earned-asian-le-mans-series-podium-finish-in-thailand/ Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:19:53 +0000 http://www.olliemillroy.com/?p=807 Ollie Millroy and his AAI Motorsports team-mates, Jun San Chen and Nobuteru Taniguchi, achieved an impressive third place finish during last weekend’s Asian Le Mans Series round at Buriram (10 January) after a late safety car period scuppered the squad’s carefully-planned strategy.

Team AAI’s decision to make fewer tyre changes than other competitors looked to be paying off, as Millroy and his co-drivers had built up a significant gap to their main rivals in the GT category and were looking strong for the class victory.

However, when the safety car was deployed 40 minutes from the end of the race their advantage was reduced to almost nothing. A number of cars on fresher rubber were subsequently able to overtake once racing resumed, but the #91 BMW Z4 GT3 maintained its fast race pace and consolidated a fantastic podium result.

Despite racing at the Buriram United International Circuit for the first time, Millroy quickly adapted to the venue’s technical challenges, demonstrating ominously strong long-run speed on the way to comfortably clocking the fastest lap of the second free practice session.

With the team opting to focus on race set-up for Saturday’s qualifying shootout, Millroy was given a tough task to secure a top grid position. Nevertheless, the 25 year-old Briton eased into fifth spot less than half a second off the class-leading pace.

Millroy was the first to take the wheel for Sunday’s race and made a typically blinding getaway, fully exploiting the #91 machine’s excellent handling and tyre management to produce what he described as one of the best drives of his career. Indeed, over his 70-minute stint the British ace overtook all of his main class rivals to grab the lead and set up what looked to be an astonishing victory.

Following the first driver and tyre changes, Millroy’s speed gave co-driver Chen a clear road ahead with which to build a 15-second advantage over his nearest challenger before handing over to Taniguchi. Despite being overtaken by two competitors with fresher tyres in the wake of the safety car period, Taniguchi consolidated the team’s effort to finish third and maintain Team AAI’s record of making the podium in every race they’ve completed this season.

“The disruption caused by the safety car in Nobuteru’s stint compromised our race plan and was difficult to swallow, but we should certainly be proud of our performance this time around,” emphasised Millroy. “Everything ran like clockwork and the car was faultless all weekend, which is extremely encouraging for the rest of the season.

“My stint couldn’t have gone better, either; the car was performing very well and I was able to overtake the four competitors in front of me by the time I pitted. It was certainly one of the best opening stints I’ve ever had, so I’m delighted with how I drove.

“Nevertheless, our tyre strategy had put us in a very strong position prior to the safety car incident, so everything was in place for a comfortable victory. It’s a real shame, but these things happen in motorsport; we just have to accept what happened and head to the next round ready to fight for the win.”
Millroy’s performance will stand him in good stead for the season finale in Sepang, where he believes the squad will be able to challenge for victory once more.

“Just like this weekend, we turned things around when we last visited Sepang and achieved a very good result, so anything is possible!” he enthused. “The team is based there and it’s a circuit we understand well, so I expect our performance to be strong. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain; we’ll go all out for the win and hopefully end the season on a high!”

Millroy will return to the track once more in Malaysia for the final round of the season on 23/24 January.

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