DANVILLE, Va. (October 3, 2013) – Bryce Miller, Marco Holzer and the Paul Miller Racing No. 48 Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR team return to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) this weekend determined to put an end to a recent run of bad luck in Saturday’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón Oak Tree Grand Prix.
The second-to-last race on the 2013 schedule, the Oak Tree Grand Prix can be seen live online at ESPN3 on Saturday, October 5, at 2 p.m. EDT. An encore telecast is scheduled for the next day, Sunday, October 6, at 5:30 p.m. EDT/2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
The No. 48 Chopard/TOTAL team showed race-winning pace in the most recent ALMS event two weeks ago at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Texas only to be knocked from contention with an obscure left-rear suspension issue. The team went several laps down after some in-pit repairs but Holzer managed to set the second fastest GT lap of the race early in his driving shift in the quickly repaired Porsche.
“We had a disappointing weekend in COTA, but we had a really fast car,” Holzer said. “I think we will have the same here because it is similar, you have a lot of fast stuff, and I really love the esses here. You need a strong car and a strong driver as well to try to not lift.”
The Texas disappointment followed a brutal weekend in the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Labor Day weekend where the No. 48 Chopard/TOTAL Porsche was among the half dozen entries sidelined in a massive multi-car wreck at the race start.
“We have been searching for a result for some time now,” said Miller, who was uninjured in the Baltimore incident. “There is still opportunity for us to bring it all together and bring that result, and the team is really focused on delivering. That’s our goal, and we are probably more focused than we have ever been, because wed are running out of time this year.”
The Paul Miller Racing team did put it all together for a season-best fourth-place finish at Road America in the race before the challenging September stretch in Baltimore and Texas. With similarities between the Elkhart Lake circuit and the 3.27-mile VIR course, the No. 48 Chopard/TOTAL team is optimistic for a good showing on Saturday.
“I think we will be fine here,” Holzer said. “The esses, for sure, are the best, and you need a good exit from the Oak Tree corner for the long straight. Also, the last corner is like falling down, but it is a nice place where you can lose and gain a lot of time. The main goal now is to be on the podium and this is why we are here, what we are working on.”
Despite the two-race run of bad luck beyond its control in September, the Paul Miller Racing team is still the highest ranked single-car and privateer entry in the ALMS GT Team Championship. The No. 48 team has 44 points in fourth place and trails only the top-ranked factory and two-car Corvette, BMW and Viper teams that make up the top three.
A two-day event following Thursday’s unofficial test session, Friday begins with a pair of practice sessions before GT qualifying that afternoon at 4:05 p.m. EDT. Race-day Saturday starts with a warm-up at 9:35 a.m. EDT before that afternoon’s featured Oak Tree Grand Prix that goes green at 2:15 p.m. EDT.
– Miller and teammate Dirk Werner won at VIR in 2007 in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the GT class. “I really like this circuit,” Miller said. “We won here in 2007 in GRAND-AM GT, so there is some karma there that I try to cling on to, it was a while ago, but a win is always memorable.”
Paul Miller Racing: Paul Miller Racing is among the top GT teams competing in North American sports car road racing. In 2013, the team will contest the full American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón with lead driver Bryce Miller and season-long teammate Marco Holzer. The team enjoys a long-standing relationship with Porsche and competes with the support of Chopard, TOTAL Lubricants, Search Marketing Group and Motegi Racing, and races exclusively on Michelin tires. The team is affiliated with Paul Miller Porsche, a 2013 Porsche Premier Dealer Award recipient.
Follow the team on Twitter @paulmilleracing @bryceracer @marcoholzer and become a Facebook fan at Facebook.com/paulmillerracing and Facebook.com/brycemiller.net. Learn more about the team at www.paulmillerracing.com.