DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 26, 2013) – A pole-winning and race-leading performance as strong as any team competing in the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 23 – 26, has left Paul Miller Racing and its drivers encouraged for the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Bryce Miller’s full-season co-driver Christopher Haase led the GTD field to the green in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS and held the gas pedal steady to set a solid pace that his teammates Miller, Rene Rast and Matt Bell kept throughout the race.
Despite each driver encountering a setback at one point or another, which typically relegated the Paul Miller Racing team back near the 15th position, the team was able to make adjustments and race back through the field on countless occasions. Racing inside the top-three throughout most of the day and trading the lead with only a handful of other competitors, the new Audi team appeared poised for a podium at the end of the event.
“I feel there is a lot of potential in our program,” Bryce Miller said. “We only took the car two months ago, and I think we already showed a lot of potential here. If you look at some of the obstacles we had-we had a tire blow out and still climbed back to the top, we had a pit lane speeding penalty and then climbed right back to the top. On multiple occasions we showed that we were fit to be running at the front of the class. I’m really proud of the guys, and I’m thankful to Audi for their commitment and cooperation to get our guys trained on the new car. I’m looking forward to a season of opportunity and I can already see some success ahead for us.”
Just shy of the 14-hour mark the car began overheating, which sent the No. 48 Audi to the garage. The crew worked hand-in-hand with Audi support to diagnose the problem, make the necessary repairs, and return to the track within just 14 minutes. Approximately four hours later the problem reoccurred, but the crew once again made the repair and got the No. 48 back on the track.
“The race didn’t come out the way we would’ve liked, but the week came out perfectly,” team owner Paul Miller said. “Obviously we qualified on the pole, which isn’t critical in a race that’s 24 hours, but it’s an indication that we were in the ballpark. For a new team with a new car, we were really excited to be close. The amount of support that we’ve had from Audi has been very gratifying. With some of the little issues we did have that cost us quite a few laps, they were really tremendous. They were really focusing on it and, quite frankly, they were really the ones that did the work to solve the issues that we did have. We’re very grateful and really excited about the season ahead.”
Haase is new to the team but on Thursday afternoon secured the pole for Paul Miller Racing in just the team’s first race with Audi.
“As today’s race progressed, we didn’t have as much luck as we needed and we had a few problems,” Haase said. “But things happen in motorsports. Sometimes it’s like that. Despite that, we had a great time. They fixed everything, and they stayed motivated through the whole race. Things like that are the most important qualities in a team. It makes me excited as we move forward throughout the year together.”
Next up for Paul Miller Racing and the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 12 – 15.
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 and Christopher Hasse will co-drive the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS. 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.
Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.