Miller Makes Shakedown Runs in Testing at Sebring International Raceway
SEBRING, FL. – Paul Miller Racing and driver Bryce Miller are taking a significant step forward for the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season as the team confirmed today its plans to compete in the GT class for the full 2011 ALMS season with the No. 48 Marquis Jet/IPC/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on Yokohama tires.
The team was at the American Le Mans Series Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway this week, turning shakedown laps in the No. 48 Porsche in preparation for next month’s 59th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh From Florida. It will be Miller’s second start in the Sebring enduro.
Sebring will be the second endurance race of the 2011 season for both Bryce Miller and Paul Miller Racing. Last month, the team finished second in the GT class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona with drivers Bryce Miller, Bryan Sellers, Tim Sugden and Rob Bell sharing the No. 48 Marquis Jet/IPC/TOTAL Porsche GT3 Cup. Bryce Miller’s co-drivers for the 12 Hours of Sebring will be announced at a later date.
“We’re really excited,” said team owner Paul Miller. “We have a good relationship we’ve struck up with Yokohama and they’re very eager to work with us and the feeling is mutual. We think there is tremendous upside and potential with that relationship. We haven’t made all the decisions yet about Bryce’s co-driver, but we plan a full schedule and we sure have the team in place, as I think we proved at Daytona.
“We’re probably going to try to do some more testing between now and the Sebring race week, just to try to sort out some of the kinks since it is a used car that we’re trying to develop. We’re really eager to go.”
Bryce Miller, 28, of Summit, N.J., and the team move to the GT class after running six rounds in the ALMS GTC class in 2010. Miller last competed in the ALMS GT class in 2009 with Farnbacher Loles Motorsports, and in fact drove the same Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that Paul Miller Racing has acquired for the 2011 season.
Bryce Miller has had some of his greatest successes driving Porsche GT3 RSRs in ALMS competition. As a series rookie in 2008, he earned his first career victory at Road America alongside co-drivers Dirk Werner and Richard Westbrook, and in his ALMS debut at Sebring, Miller and Werner combined with Marc Basseng to lead near the halfway point in the prestigious 12-hour race.
“I’m ultra excited to be here in GT,” said Bryce Miller. “It’s a different level of excitement. The cars are more advanced, which makes it a lot of fun for the driver, and so is the depth of talent, as well. We have quite a bit to learn as a new team here in this arena, but we have a very good team. We were able to do some shakedown laps here at Sebring to work toward finding some sort of baseline and work from there.”
Also joining the team for the Sebring test was 2010 Porsche Supercup champion René Rast. The 24-year-old from Steyerberg, Germany brings considerable sports car racing experience from Europe, including the last four years racing in the German Porsche Carrera Cup series. But he had never experienced the quirky Sebring International Raceway layout until this week.
“It was my very first time here in America,” said Rast. “The track is very bumpy, and I didn’t do very many laps so I didn’t push very hard. I just tried to focus on the car and things like that. I’m very excited for the next test. Hopefully, we can do a full season and that I can get a little more experience and learn the tracks, learn the team and everything.”
Next up for the Paul Miller Racing team is the 59th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 19. The once-around-the-clock event will take the green flag at 10:30 a.m. ET.
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 three international sponsors in Marquis Jet, IPC Information Systems and TOTAL Lubricants.