ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 19, 2012)– After four hours of tough and exciting racing on a late Saturday afternoon at Road America, co-drivers Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen brought the No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Paul Miller Racing home with its third top-five result of the season in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Road Race Showcase.
Maassen started the car from 10th on the GT grid, but both he and Miller were able to work their way forward as the Paul Miller Racing team and Dunlop engineers improved the car on every pit stop. Fast pit stops and heady strategy were also key factors in getting Miller up to third in the GT running order within the final hour of the race before crossing the stripe in fifth place.
“This was a four-hour race, so our strategy was to keep digging and make the car better over the course of the race and we achieved that,” Maassen said. “We actually made the car better every pit stop, changing a little bit of tire pressure and finding the best settings for the car. It was good how we managed that and it just got better and better. I was really pleased when Bryce was lying third with just 40 minutes to go. It was quite good. We were able to fight for positions and in the end we finished fifth. It’s great.”
It was the third fifth-place result of the season for the No. 48 team. Miller and Maassen teamed with Rob Bell to finish fifth in the prestigious Twelve Hours of Sebring to open the 2012 ALMS season, and just last month, the duo finished fifth in the Grand Prix of Mosport.
“As far as the pace is concerned overall, we keep moving the goalposts forward and raising the game,” said Bryce Miller. “Overall, the team just keeps making steps. I think we’ve found more pace from the car in these last couple of races. Now we’ve found more pace in the pit stops. Everything is moving in the right direction and all the hard work is paying off.
“This is the hard stretch in the championship because everyone starts to show their true speed a little bit more as we go into this last stretch of the championship with the front runners competing for points. I think it shows more the progress we’ve made in the pace and in the pit stops that we can take a result like this at this point in the season.”
The Paul Miller Racing team started the 2012 season with a brand-new Porsche and entered into a new tire manufacturer partnership with Dunlop. With three top fives from the season’s seven races to date, it’s safe to say that both moves are paying dividends.
“We have really enjoyed working toward the goal of finishing in the top five and we were really happy to be able to post our third top five of the year,” said team owner Paul Miller. “Our pit stops were good, our strategy was good, Bryce and Sascha were quick and protected the car, and God was certainly on our side giving us several important breaks!”
Next up for the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing team is another two-hour sprint on a street circuit in the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge on Sept. 1. The inaugural ALMS race on the streets of
Baltimore last year yielded a fourth-place result, which was the best of the 2011 season for the Paul Miller Racing team.
PHOTO: The No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche in action at Road America. Credit: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image