WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 28, 2015) – Paul Miller Racing, and No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS drivers Christopher Haase, Dion von Moltke and Bryce Miller, scored a hard-earned third-place GT Daytona (GTD) class finish Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
The podium finish was the third in a row for the No. 48 this season, and the team’s sixth-straight top-five result, dating back to a race victory in 2014’s season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Paul Miller Racing also finished third one race prior to The Glen in Detroit and second one event before that at Laguna Seca.
Haase, who started the race in wet conditions, was also in the Audi for the run to the finish, when he endured some of the heaviest rain of the day. He never put a wheel wrong and steadily moved up in the order as several other GTD competitors fell victim to the treacherous conditions.
“It was very difficult at the beginning,” Haase said. “We had slick tires on wet asphalt, very hard but we were able to run with GTLM cars for a couple of laps, which was very cool. It was also very wet at the end but the team did a nice job during the race. We always focused just on ourselves, and the important thing is to never give up. In total, it shows our team strengths, especially at the end. You have to stay calm in difficult conditions.”
The No. 48 team and drivers had to deal with not only wet and changing track conditions but also a mid-race contact incident with the No. 22 Porsche that sent von Moltke and the Audi into a spin.
“I felt like I saw him look inside, he wasn’t quite there, but I didn’t want to close the door on him because we talked about driving clean,” von Moltke said. “I gave him like a car width and a half and all of a sudden I just got drilled in the right rear. Not really sure what happened, we lost a bunch of time and picked up a vibration, which was made worse from the in-coming rain. It took me a little while to feel out the car and make sure it was good to start pushing again.”
The team spent the next two hours of the race making up the lost ground, finally moving back on to the lead lap heading into the race’s final hour with Haase at the wheel.
“It was a great testament to the team to get us back up to the front and through really tough conditions all six hours,” said von Moltke, who drove a double stint in the middle of the race. “Luckily, the contact incident didn’t cost us the race, and we were able to rebound back. Christopher drove amazingly well. He was quick but he also kept it on track, and that was the most important thing there for the last hour or so of the race.”
The Glen race also marked the return of team driver, Bryce Miller, who is competing only in this year’s four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. He made his first race start since March’s 12 Hours of Sebring and ran competitively throughout his own stint that followed Haase’s opening drive.
“It was great to be back and to be with the team, I really enjoyed it,” Bryce Miller said. “It’s also great to see the team just performing at such a championship level, they are operating like a championship team, and that shows in taking a sixth, seventh or eighth place car and bringing it home in third place. It demonstrates some maturity and experience and just kind of the overall good vibe the way that everyone is working together to make these results happen. I’m really proud of the team.”
In addition to the three-straight podium results, Paul Miller Racing opened the season with Haase, von Moltke and Bryce Miller – joined at Daytona by Audi Sport LMP1 driver, Rene Rast – scoring dual fifth-place finishes in the Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring.
Sunday’s result at The Glen extended the lead the team and drivers have in the IMSA TUDOR GTD Championship standings. Both the No 48 team, and full-season co-drivers Haase and von Moltke, now have 149 points in both championships, 10 points ahead of the second-place competitors.
Next up for Paul Miller Racing is the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, July 24 – 25.
Follow Paul Miller Racing on Twitter @paulmilleracing @bryceracer, @ChHaase and @Dionvmracing and on Facebook fan pages available at Facebook.com/paulmillerracing, Facebook.com/brycemiller.net, www.facebook.com/Dionvm, andwww.paulmillerracing.com, www.brycemiller.net, www.christopher-haase.de and www.dionvm.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.