BRASELTON, Ga. (October 19, 2012)– Battling what is widely regarded as the toughest GT field in the world, co-drivers Bryce Miller, Sascha Maassen and Richard Lietz and the Paul Miller Racing team have put the finishing touches on their No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR ahead of Saturday’s 10-hour or 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The trio and the team have worked throughout the week on preparing a solid racecar for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season finale. The team has already earned three top-five results this season and is hoping for one more to close out 2012.
“We have to just keep our heads down and continue to improve the car and stay focused on the changing conditions here as the track rubbers up,” Miller said. “The temperature swings are also quite big during the day and going into the night, so getting the tire pressures right through that swing will be important. That’s really the focus. I’m excited about the lineup we have here. To have Richard onboard with Sascha and me is a real positive contribution. There’s a lot to look forward to.”
Maassen definitely knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful at Petit Le Mans, as he’s a five-time class winner at the Road Atlanta enduro. He is also well aware of the extremely tough competition in every ALMS race.
“It’s a long race, so we have to make a car that is lasting over 1,000 miles,” Maassen said. “On this track, that is a big challenge and we have tough competition. We have the strongest GT field ever, and I think we have to have a car that is reliable, quick and easy to drive. We are trying everything to achieve that.”
Lietz is making his first appearance with Paul Miller Racing this weekend and his second Petit Le Mans start, having competed last year in the GTE-AM category as part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The Porsche factory racer who competes all over the world also notes the tough competition at Petit Le Mans.
“It’s my second time here at Petit and the first time with the Paul Miller Racing team. It’s also my first time with Dunlop tires, so it’s a new experience for me,” Lietz said. “The competition is very high. I know most of the other drivers from the World Championship or from the European championship, so I know there are very good drivers here. I think the best GT drivers in the world are here now coming to the U.S. to race each other and for this I’m really excited.
“It’s difficult to say how we will do in the race. Of course, it’s a 1,000-mile race; it’s very long and anything can happen, but if we stay out of trouble, just do our pace and race our race, I think it’s going to be good at the end of the 10 hours.”
Qualifying for the Petit Le Mans starts at 2 p.m. ET this afternoon and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com. The race will be also streamed live on ESPN3.com in its entirety beginning at 11:15 a.m. ET, and will be televised on a tape delay at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 21 on ABC.
PHOTO: The No. 48 Porsche in action during practice at Road Atlanta. Credit: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Paul Miller Racing
Petit Le Mans
2011 – 11th in GT class
2011 – 6th in GTE-AM class
2011 – 11th in GT class
2010 – 2nd in P2 class
2009 – 3rd in P2 class
2008 – 3rd in P2 class
2007 – 5th in P2 class
2006 – 1st in P2 class
2004 – 1st in GT class
2003 – 2nd in GT class, pole position
2002 – 1st in GT class
2001 – 3rd in GT class
2000 – 1st in GT class
1999 – 1st in GT class
Petit Le Mans Class Victories: 5
Petit Le Mans Class Poles – 1