BRASELTON, Georgia (October 5, 2015) – Paul Miller Racing, and team drivers Christopher Haase, Dion von Moltke and Bryce Miller, finished 10th Saturday, October 3, in the No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS in a rain-plagued Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in which the team saw their 2015 championship hopes slip away in the slick and track-soaked conditions.
“We honestly never had the right speeds in the heavy rain conditions so we were in a little bit of trouble in that case,” Haase said. “We tried to focus on our race and at least stay on track which was quite difficult.”
With a race run in constant pouring rain, the Road Atlanta circuit had puddles and even river-like flows at various points in the day. The scheduled 10-hour event was stopped for 60 minutes in the late afternoon and then called for good near dusk with just under eight hours complete.
“They stopped the race, which was definitely the right decision, but it hurt our chance to have a shot at coming back,” Haase said. “That’s racing but we had a pretty good year. We were quite close and at least we were able to fight for the championship, so I’m quite happy about that. The team did a great job the whole year and we should keep focused on what’s going on for next year.”
Starting driver von Moltke had the best conditions in which to race but the No. 48 team’s struggles picked up along with the rain in the afternoon.
“It started off really well from a great pit stop,” von Moltke said. “The Paul Miller Racing guys have really shown all year that they’ve got great pit stops, and they even got us up to the top three. When it was light rain we were able to stay up there but as soon as the heavy rains came we just didn’t have the right package. The team did everything they could with strategy and making the right calls but it just wasn’t our day.”
The team welcomed back co-driver Bryce Miller for the Petit Le Mans finale. He took over after von Moltke’s opening shift and was the first to encounter some of the day’s heaviest rain.
“The biggest challenge between the three of was the aquaplaning, which seemed to be an especially difficult challenge for our car, relatively speaking,” Bryce Miller said. “We struggled a little bit with that but we didn’t put a scratch on this car, we kept it on the track and we stuck to our plan and our commitment from that end and until the very end.”
How the season ended was tough to take for the Paul Miller Racing team after they led the GTD point standings for a major part of the season.
“It’s been an honor to work with Paul Miller Racing driving the Audi R8 LMS all year as always,” von Moltke said. “For sure, we’re frustrated with how things ended but we had the opportunity to fight for the championship, so I’m happy about that. Overall the season was a positive one but Saturday just wasn’t our day. Now our focus already turns to next year and what we can do to improve and come back and fight for the championship again.”
The No. 48 team, and Haase and von Moltke, came into Petit Le Mans second in the GT Daytona (GTD) season standings, just one point out of first place, but ended up third in the championship.
“This just ended up being a very strange, bizarre and anticlimactic finish to what was a real exceptional season for this team,” Bryce Miller said. “I’m really proud of the team. They came out of the box a lot better and showed their maturity and experience with this car. They’ve done a great job and on to next year.”
Next up for Paul Miller Racing is the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Awards Banquet tonight at the Georgia Aquarium. Haase and von Moltke and Paul Miller Racing owner Paul Miller will receive their third-place championship awards at the celebration where von Moltke will also be honored as the GTD-class TOTAL Pole Award winner for his class-leading four poles this season.
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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