MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2014) – Paul Miller Racing, and team drivers Bryce Miller and Christopher Haase, will run their first sprint race in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS at this weekend’s Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey, GT Daytona (GTD) Round 3 of the inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, at Laguna Seca Raceway, May 3 – 4.
Sunday’s race, the first of an IMSA TUDOR doubleheader, starts at 10:15 a.m. PDT with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT. The two-hour sprint will be for GTD division cars like the Paul Miller Racing Audi that will share the track with the Prototype Challenge (PC) class. The day’s second two-hour will be for the Prototype and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes and can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT.
After opening the season with 36 hours of endurance racing between January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, Sunday’s race will be the first sprint for the GTD and PC classes in IMSA TUDOR history. At just 120 minutes, the race will amount to little more than a double driving stint at Daytona or Sebring, but the Paul Miller Racing team is up for the challenge and strategy that comes with the year’s first sprint.
In its first season with Audi Sport customer racing, Paul Miller Racing ran competitively in the year’s opening rounds, particularly at the Rolex 24. Debuting team driver Haase won the pole at Daytona and the team was the race-leading GTD car to beat before early-morning overheating issues knocked the No. 48 from winning contention.
The Paul Miller team still finished 16th at Daytona and improved to 12th at Sebring despite losing valuable time off track after being taken out by a wayward Prototype competitor, and a pre-race IMSA BoP (Balance of Power) rules adjustment that didn’t favor the Audis.
After well over month-long breaks between both races, everyone on the Paul Miller Racing team is ready to return to racing this weekend.
“This has been a long break so I’m eager to get back into the swing of things,” Bryce Miller said. “I always very much look forward to Laguna Seca and it’s the perfect track to get the season rolling again.”
Then racing with Porsche, Paul Miller Racing, with Bryce Miller co-driving with Marco Holzer, contended for the win last year at Laguna Seca until a tire change miscue during final pit stops dropped them to sixth at the finish.
Although this year’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix will be half the length of 2013’s four-hour contest, the new GTD division, other new team, driver, manufacturer combinations, and several debuting drivers should make it a wide-open race.
“For me, it is a completely new chapter to participate in the GT sprint races in the United SportsCar Championship,” Haase said. “So I am really excited and I can´t wait to be back in America. I have, with my teammate Bryce Miller and the team at Paul Miller Racing great guys where I can learn a lot in American motorsport.”
Haase is not only making his IMSA TUDOR sprint race debut, it is also the young German driver’s first time ever at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course.
“It is my first time in Laguna,” Haase said. “I have heard a lot about the track and, for example, the ‘Corkscrew!” I used some hours on simulator racing to learn the track, corner combinations, and all that stuff. At least I know in which direction I have to drive out of the pits!” Anyway, it will be hard work, but I am looking forward to going there.”
Bryce Miller has raced at Laguna Seca and other famous circuits around the world but admits the Corkscrew is a thing of its own.
“Laguna Seca is definitely one of my top-five favorite tracks among others like Spa and Road America,” Bryce Miller said. “There is nothing else like the Corkscrew segment anywhere else in the world.”
A two-day event, the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey begins with practice and qualifying on Saturday. Race-day Sunday starts with a 20-minute warm-up at 8 a.m. PDT for all IMSA TUDOR classes before the 10:15 a.m. PDT race start for the GTD/PC race.
– Both Bryce Miller and Haase have had at least some time at the wheel in the long break since Sebring. “We did a light rollout with the car a couple weeks ago to conduct some smaller tests,” Bryce Miller said. “The car feels great, I’m coming into the car now and really enjoy driving it.” Haase raced in the German VLN series back home at the Nurburgring. “I just did one VLN race last week,” Haase said. “That’s it, so I am happy to be back in the race car.”
About Paul Miller Racing: Paul Miller Racing is among the top GT teams competing in North American sports car road racing. In 2014, the team will contest the full GT Daytona (GTD) season in the new IMSA TUDOR SportsCar Championship in a new partnership with Audi Sport customer racing. Bryce Miller will drive the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS with a to-be-named co-driver. The racing team is affiliated with the Paul Miller Auto Group, which has operated Paul Miller Audi since 1976, races in support of Full Circle Home, and competes with the support of TOTAL Lubricants, Search Marketing Group and Motegi Racing.
Follow Paul Miller Racing on Twitter @paulmilleracing @bryceracer and become a Facebook fan at Facebook.com/paulmillerracing and Facebook.com/brycemiller.net. Learn more about the team at www.paulmillerracing.com.
About Audi of America and the Audi R8 LMS: Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for customer racing events. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout the GT3 racing format worldwide, including victory in the GT class in the 2013 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 Liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies.
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