LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 9, 2011) – Co-drivers Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen finished sixth in the GT class following the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Round 3 race at Lime Rock Park, part of the Northeast Grand Prix.
Miller started 11th in the No. 48 Chopard/Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and gained two positions at the race start. On Lap 23, there was a multicar accident that involved four GT class cars. As a result of the accident, Miller was now in seventh position and drove his was up to sixth before the team’s first pit stop on Lap 57.
On Lap 51, the first full course caution came out to remove the No. 34 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup from the track. Under caution, the team decided to pit. At this point, Maassen got behind the wheel and the team put four new Yokohama tires on the No. 48 machine.
“We were able to advance quite well,” Miller said after his first stint. “The car was very predictable and consistent. The team did a great job to put a car like this underneath me at a track like this. It was very important with all the traffic and the incidents that occurred out there. I was quite pleased.”
When Maassen took to the track and the race went green on Lap 61, he was sixth. About halfway through his 59-lap stint something happened to the car’s exhaust. Despite the exhaust issue, Maassen picked up another position during his stint.
“We had a problem with the exhaust during my stint,” Maassen said. “I was very happy with the car until there was a strange sound. Then, I realized that we must have had a broken exhaust. It must have broken at some point. But, I don’t think we can complain because the Yokohama tires we had for this weekend were new. It was a new tire and it proved that is very quick. We’re getting closer to the front. That’s what I really like.”
On Lap 117, Miller got back into the car with a little more than 50 minutes remaining in the two hour and 45 minute race. During Miller’s final stint and after all of the other team’s pit strategies played out, Miller brought the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Porsche home sixth.
“This is a big step forward,” Miller said after the race. “I am really proud of the team. Everyone’s hard work is finally paying off, including Yokohama’s work to make us a new tire. I think that showed in the results. Hopefully we can carry this momentum forward into the season.
“We learned a lot about the Yokohama tires here. My last stint in the car was much better than my first stint and it showed in the times and the consistency. We had an unfortunate situation with our exhaust, which certainly cost us time. So factoring that in, we had a good improvement from the start to the finish.”
“I had fun out there,” Maassen said. “The car was great and my tires were great. I was driving with all of the factory teams out there and I was holding their pace. We have our first result now and I’m really happy for Paul Miller Racing.”
“I liked the pace we showed throughout the race,” team owner Paul Miller said. “At various times, we could do times that were high 52s and low 53s. We feel like we really made a step forward with the tires this weekend and we’re very pleased with our pace. We needed this finish. We are very excited.”
This weekend was the first race with the newly announced Chopard sponsorship on board the No. 48 Chopard/Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Race fans can catch Round 3 of American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, July 10. The series next heads north of the border for the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport July 22-24.