Paul Miller Racing Press Release
Christopher Haase Leads Team to the Pole for the Inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 24, 2013) - After receiving a penalty on Thursday that initially cost Paul Miller Racing the GTD-class pole, IMSA officials rescinded the ruling against the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS Friday morning. The reversal put Paul Miller Racing back on the pole position for Saturday's 52nd Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona that the team will contest with Bryce Miller, Christopher Haase, Rene Rast and Matt Bell.
"We are pleased that Scot Elkins and IMSA agreed to reevaluate the clarity and interpretation of the particular rule of issue, and deal fairly with us," said team owner Paul Miller. "With this being the first race under the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship banner, basically a new generation of U.S. sports car racing, it is a big honor for our team to start from the pole."
The Rolex 24 At Daytona airs live tomorrow beginning at 2 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST on FOX with two hours of race-opening action. At 4 p.m. EST/1 p.m. PST coverage continues on sister station FOX Sports 2 until 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST. For the overnight hours, live images, in-car cameras and announcers will stream on www.IMSA.com. On Sunday, January 26, beginning at 7 a.m. EST/4 a.m. PST, FOX Sports 1 takes over the coverage and continues through the end of the race and post-race festivities, concluding at 3 p.m./12 p.m. PST. Motor Racing Network (MRN) will also air flag-to-flag radio coverage, streaming live at www.MRN.com.
Bryce Miller won Paul Miller Racing's only previous pole at the Grand Prix of Mosport while competing in the American LeMans Series in 2010.
"The pole result was almost a little bit unexpected for our team with us being new to Audi," Bryce Miller said. "But since we've joined forces with Audi, the support that we've received to accelerate our learning curve and bring us up to the level that we need to be at with the car has just been tremendous. I attribute a large part of the success that we've had today to that whole relationship, and I'm very thankful to Audi for that."
"Our Audi was very good in qualifying," Haase said. "The team did a great job, and we improved the car step-by-step. For qualifying we went a bit more aggressive, and I was able to trust the car to put down the lap time. Good teamwork is the key to getting the pole, and we have a great team here."
With buzz around the paddock area about the closeness of qualifying results, competitors are expecting a close race throughout the weekend. By the conclusion of the 15-minute qualifying session, six GTD cars recorded lap times within one-tenth of a second while the top-10 GTD cars recorded lap times within four-tenths of a second.
"In the 24-hour races that I've driven in the past, the car is so reliable-especially the Audi-the race is almost like a qualifying lap every lap because you can push the car to those limits," Bell said. "I think this race may be a little different because of the size of the track and the number of the cars on it. With so many cars on such a small track, I think we'll be spending more time looking in our mirrors than looking out of the windshield. I think the race will be decided in the last four to six hours, so we need to stay out of trouble until then. As long as we can stay on the lead lap and keep the car in one piece, I think we will really be one of the most dangerous lineups out there."
After picking up three seconds during yesterday's practice sessions and winning the pole, the Paul Miller Racing team spent today's final practice session as a final warm-up for this weekend's 24-hour event.
"Every session we are working on the car and trying to improve it," Rast said. "Even though we are at the top of our game, we have been able to continually make improvements to our Audi. We haven't stopped working to improve our car since we arrived at the Roar test earlier this month. I feel like we have a good setup and a strong driver lineup going into the race this weekend."
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.
Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport