Following a wild and hard fought race, Paul Miller Racing drivers Bryce Miller and Christopher Haase survived a series of obstacles to take third-place honors in Saturday’s Detroit Grand Prix, the fourth round of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona (GTD) category.
Competing on the public roads of Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, the chaotic nature of street course racing failed to disappoint, with the drivers of the No. 48 Audi R8 LMS managing not only their second straight podium, but taking top Audi honors for the second straight race as well.
“Starting from 12th on the grid I didn’t fully plan or expect such a good result,” Bryce Miller said. “On a street course like this it is difficult to pass and everything. There was a lot of action that happened out there. The team hit their marks on the pit stop, they had a great stop and we got some positions that way, but outside of that Christopher just drove a phenomenal race. It was just an impressive drive and he made it a lot of fun to watch.”
Miller took the green flag with the understanding that his primary responsibility was to deliver teammate Haase a top car. With a variety of cars impacting either the barriers or each other, Miller kept his focus on a clean stint, climbing six positions in the process. When a timely caution period came out during the 35-minute mark, it was time for the team to make their one and only pit stop, with Miller getting out and Haase taking the wheel.
The German driver knew that this would be the team’s only stop during the 100-minute race, so any additional passing would have to happen on the track. Wasting no time, Haase made quick work of the front, passing competitors and avoiding a chaotic series of incidents that would happen in front of him. Between a healthy combination of aggression and patience, Haase placed himself and the Paul Miller Racing team in podium position, eventually crossing the line in third.
“It was very hard to defend my position,” Haase said. “In the last 30 minutes so much happened. It was always important to stay in touch with the guys in front but on the other hand I had to look in the mirror all the time but I could apply some pressure to gain position. As always, we just never gave up, I just want to thank my teammate Bryce and everyone at Paul Miller Racing for a good job during the race.”
Looking forward, the team can take reward in knowing they’ve not only taken valuable championship points, but they’re headed to a very familiar circuit for the New Jersey-headquartered team.
“From a points situation, what happened here today was really good for us in terms of positioning us closer to the front of the standings,” Bryce Miller said. “If we can keep this trend going perhaps we can move into a position where we can be a little strategic and less aggressive in the second half.”
Echoing the thoughts, Miller’s father and team owner Paul Miller is delighted in his team’s total effort.
“We worked really hard on getting the car right,” Paul Miller said. “We were not really sure at the end of the day if we had a really good setup but it turned out we really hit it on the button. Our crew did a great job, our drivers did a great job and it all panned out for us in the end. We are really happy with the third place and never thought we had a third-place car at the start of the race. Bryce went from 12th to sixth and Christopher took it the rest of the way. We are just ecstatic to be in the points race and to get on the podium in our new partnership with Castrol EDGE.”
With Round Five being a virtual home race for the New Jersey-based Millers, the team is excited about returning to the famed Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International in New York.
“Neither Christopher or I had ever been to Detroit,” Miller said. “Normally you think it is an advantage to go to a track you have been to before and Watkins Glen is one of those places for me. I have a lot of laps there, the team is well experienced at The Glen too, and hopefully we can play off of some of that when it comes to rolling the car off the trailer well prepped and ready.”
The Glen race will take place on Sunday, June 29, also serving as the third round of the prestigious North American Endurance Championship presented by Tequila Patrón.
About Paul Miller Racing: Paul Miller Racing is among the top GT teams competing in North American sports car road racing. In 2014, the team will contest the full GT Daytona (GTD) season in the new IMSA TUDOR SportsCar Championship in a new partnership with Audi Sport customer racing. Bryce Miller and Christopher Hasse will co-drive the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS. The racing team is affiliated with the Paul Miller Auto Group, which has operated Paul Miller Audi since 1976, races in support of Full Circle Home, and competes with the support of Castrol EDGE, Search Marketing Group and Motegi Racing.
Follow Paul Miller Racing on Twitter @paulmilleracing @bryceracer and @ChHaase and become a Facebook fan at Facebook.com/paulmillerracing and Facebook.com/brycemiller.net. Learn more information about Paul Miller Racing and the team’s drivers at ww.paulmillerracing.com, www.brycemiller.net and www.christopher-haase.de.
About Audi of America and the Audi R8 LMS: Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for customer racing events. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout the GT3 racing format worldwide, including victory in the GT class in the 2013 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 Liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components.
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies.
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