LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 6, 2011) – In an American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón cut short by torrential rains, No. 48 Chopard/Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche 911 GT3 RSR co-drivers Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen picked up their third consecutive top-10 ALMS result in Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.
Maassen qualified the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Porsche in 13th position on the GT class grid on Friday, and the German racer also started the race, which began under bright sunshine and blue skies at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Maassen drove the first hour of the race, making up a couple of positions before turning the controls over to Bryce Miller.
Miller spent the first several laps of his driving stint running in 10th place, and carefully drove through a persistent drizzle on dry Yokohama tires as many of his fellow competitors went off course or fell out of contention. However, as the end of the race drew closer, the weather conditions deteriorated and the team wisely brought Miller onto pit road for a set of Yokohama rain tires.
Shortly thereafter, the skies really opened and race officials made the decision to red flag the race with slightly more than 10 minutes earlier than its scheduled distance. When the checkered flag came out a few minutes later Miller and Maassen wound up with an eighth-place result.
“The torrential downpour made the race very difficult from a driver and pit strategy perspective but the team made an excellent call on tire strategy that advanced us five positions,” Miller said. “I am quite pleased with the result and the team. They delivered a reliable car again for the third race in a row and showed real decisiveness from the hot seat to make the right calls. Great job by the team and Yokohama to bring the Chopard Porsche home in one piece under difficult conditions.”
The eighth-place performance at Mid-Ohio continued a run of solid finishes for the No. 48 team. Miller and Maassen finished 10th two weeks ago at Mosport International Raceway and had their best run of the season to date last month at Lime Rock Park with a sixth-place performance.
“We survived,” said Maassen. “I am happy that we were able to advance five places from our starting position. We were able to again score points and we continued to learn a lot about the car and our tires. The team made the right decisions for the weather conditions.”
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge will be televised on ESPN2 at 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday evening. The telecast will include a feature on Bryce and Paul Miller.
Next up for the No. 48 Chopard/Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche team will be the four-hour Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. on Saturday, August 20. Road America was the site of Miller’s first career ALMS victory with a GT2 class triumph in 2008 and where Maassen earned an LMP2 class victory in 2006.
Paul Miller Racing is among the top GT teams competing in North American sports car road racing. In 2011, the team will contest the full American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, as well as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team enjoys a long-standing relationship with Porsche and competes with the support of four international sponsors in Chopard, Marquis Jet, IPC Information Systems and TOTAL Lubricants.
Follow the team on Twitter @paulmilleracing and @bryceracer and become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/paulmillerracing and Facebook.com/brycemiller.net.