LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 8, 2012)– The No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Paul Miller Racing picked up another top-10 result on Saturday as teammates Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen co-drove the machine to an eighth-place result in the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Miller started the car from the eighth position on the grid. He briefly fell back to 10th when he pitted under the race’s first full-course caution, roughly 20 minutes into the two-hour and 45-minute race. However, he worked his way up as far as sixth just past the one-hour mark, and pitted from sixth with one hour and 17 minutes remaining and turned the car over to Maassen.
“I am glad we could find some points again out of such a tough race,” said Bryce Miller. “The traffic and the heat was difficult but we were able to find the finish.”
Owing to different pit-stop strategies, Maassen rejoined the race in eighth place and dropped back to ninth with just over an hour remaining. He spent the final hour racing against Wolf Henzler in the No. 17 Porsche for eighth, and the two exchanged positions a couple times before Henzler got the spot.
A crash by Guy Cosmo in the No. 02 Ferrari with under five minutes remaining moved Maassen back into eighth place, but the race ended under full-course caution, preventing Maassen from getting one more shot at Henzler.
“It was a tough race,” Maassen said. “The heat and the competition was intense. I am happy we survived and scored points again. For a while I was hoping for a better result when the competition struggled with their tires, but they got lucky because of the many full-course caution laps in the end.”
The result was the third top-eight performance in four 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón races for the Paul Miller Racing team. The team also finished eighth in Round 2 at Long Beach in April and earned a season-best result of fifth in the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
“The good news about our run was that our drivers kept out of trouble in intense conditions and brought the car home without damage,” said team owner Paul Miller. “Our Dunlop tires were excellent and consistent throughout the long runs. However, we lost the handle on the balance and that made the car difficult to drive aggressively.”
Next up for Miller, Maassen and the Paul Miller Racing team is the Grand Prix of Mosport at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on the weekend of July 20-22.
PHOTO: Bryce Miller gets out and Sascha Maassen takes over in the No. 48 Porsche at Lime Rock. Credit: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image