PARSIPPANY, N.J. (September 13, 2012) – For most competitors in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, this weekend’s VIR 240 at Virginia International Raceway represents a new challenge, as it will be the first ALMS race to be held on the 3.27-mile road circuit.
For No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driver Bryce Miller, however, this weekend’s visit to the 17-turn road circuit on the Virginia-North Carolina border is a return to the site of a past triumph. Miller earned a GRAND-AM GT-class victory in 2007, his first of three GRAND-AM visits to VIR. His most recent race at VIR came in 2009, but Miller still has a good handle on what it’s going to take for him, co-driver Sascha Maassen and the Paul Miller Racing team to be successful.
“I am looking forward to VIR,” he said. “I really enjoy the circuit but it’s also a very demanding and unforgiving track. The overtaking opportunities are difficult, the circuit is narrow and dirt will kick onto the track frequently during the race. We have to push hard for track position and show our progress from this season but also have to keep the car safe for four hours. It will be tough.”
Indeed, a lot can happen in four hours (or “240 minutes” as the event title implies). And while Maassen will be making his first VIR appearance this weekend, he’s definitely excited about adding a new racetrack to his résumé and looks forward to familiarizing himself with such VIR landmarks as the “Oak Tree” turn, the “Roller Coaster” and the “Hog Pen.”
“I have never raced at VIR but I have a lot of respect for the track and its challenges,” Maassen said. “We have a long race there so patience is again a key element. But it also makes too much fun to push the limits on this track to hold back a second.”
Friday’s on-track activities get under way at 10:15 a.m. ET for the first of two one-hour practice sessions ahead of qualifying. The second practice starts at 2:20 p.m. ET, followed by GT-class qualifying from 3:50 to 4:05 p.m.
Saturday’s race day schedule begins with a 20-minute warm-up session beginning at 9:55 a.m. ET. An all-driver autograph session at the team transporters in the competition paddock runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the VIR 240 takes the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Live streaming of qualifying and the race will be available on ESPN3.com. The qualifying stream begins at 3:25 p.m. ET on Friday, with the race stream slated for 2:15 p.m. ET on Saturday. The race will also be televised on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
PHOTO: The No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche in action at Baltimore. Credit: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Paul Miller Racing
Virginia International Raceway
2007 – 1st in GRAND-AM GT
2008 – 19th in GRAND-AM GT
2009 – 8th in GRAND-AM GT
Total VIR Wins – 1
Making first appearance in 2012