MONTEREY, Calif. (May 4, 2014) – Paul Miller Racing, and team drivers Bryce Miller and Christopher Haase, moved into early-season IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) title contention with a close second-place finish in Sunday’s Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS.
The runner-up showing was earned in just the team’s third race with Audi Sport customer racing and made good on some class-leading but near-miss showings this year in the inaugural IMSA TUDOR season.
“It’s just such a relief for the whole team,” said Paul Miller Racing Team Owner Paul Miller. “We were leading for more than 13 hours at Daytona and then had a mechanical. Then we got drilled at Sebring, so to be here and finally have a result that’s reflective of the effort that these guys have been putting forth is just tremendous. We are really excited, it’s a big burden lifted off of everybody. We really had a shot at the win today for sure. It was a great race. You can’t ask for anything more.”
The top weekend also included a third-place qualifying effort by Haase who joined co-driver Bryce Miller in battling for the race win from the start of the two-hour sprint. The team fought its way back into race-leading contention more than once, frequently battling in the top five and, for the last turns of the final lap, for the race victory.
Bryce Miller, Paul Miller’s son, drove the race’s opening shift and kept the No. 48 Audi R8 LMS in the lead pack throughout his stint.
“Awesome race,” Bryce Miller said. “The team did a great job with the strategy and it played perfectly into our hands. This was Christopher’s first time here ever and he did an incredible job to bring us back to the front, fighting back through all of the muck and everything else. I think there was a win here for us today but we’ll take this second.”
Haase has quickly become one of the competitive GTD division’s top drivers. He won the pole in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and then recorded the top-three qualifying result at Laguna Seca in his track debut.
“This was a great race for us, my first race at Laguna Seca,” Haase said. “The team did such a great job with strategy and we had enough fuel at the end, which was the most important thing. We had great fights, it was quite tough but close. To improve the position I would have needed one more lap or another 100 meters but second place is great. I’m happy.”
The entire Paul Miller Racing team was happy and has hit on a soon-to-be winning combination this year.
“I’m really proud of the team, they worked really hard for this podium and deserve it,” Bryce Miller said. “They rolled the car off the truck with a really good setup from the very beginning and the preparation was good all weekend as well. I’m really happy and proud for everyone.”
Next up for Paul Miller Racing and the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona (GTD) class is the fourth round of the year at the Raceway on Belle Isle Park in Detroit, May 30 – 31.
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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