Dated: July 21, 2011
PARSIPPANY, N.J. (July 21, 2011) - On the heels of what could have been a breakthrough race, Paul Miller Racing No. 48 Chopard/Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche 911 GT3 RSR co-drivers Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen head to Canada's Mosport International Raceway for Sunday's American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Grand Prix of Mosport carrying great momentum.
The driving duo earned their best ALMS result of the season to date with sixth-place run in the GT class two weeks ago in the team's "home" race at Lime Rock Park. What is even more encouraging is the fact that the Yokohama-shod No. 48 Porsche spent a significant amount of time inside the top five in each of the past two ALMS races at Lime Rock and Long Beach, perhaps indicating that the drivers and team are zeroing in on their Yokohama tires' "sweet spot."
Now it's on to one of the fastest and most challenging circuits on the nine-race schedule, the 2.459-mile, 10-turn Mosport International Raceway circuit in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. For Paul Miller Racing, Mosport brings back some good memories and one not-so-good one.
Team owner Paul Miller owns two career Trans-Am Series victories in Porsches at Mosport, one in 1977 co-driving with Ludwig Heimrath and a second solo victory in 1984, and Maassen has finished on the class podium five times in his eight ALMS starts at the venue, most recently with a third place run in the LMP2 class in 2008.
Last year, Bryce Miller took the GTC class pole position in his first ALMS appearance at Mosport, and he and then-co-driver Luke Hines appeared well on their way to earning a victory when Hines was involved in huge crash that brought the race to a premature finish due to substantial guardrail damage. Miller returns this year looking for vengeance.
"I am a big fan of Mosport only because our team qualified on pole and led most of the race last year," said Bryce. "We keep improving and making progress with the Yokohama tire as well and are all looking forward to keeping this momentum going.
"Luke's incident last year was horribly spectacular and ended our race short when he was leading by a large margin. The team really deserved our result at Lime Rock and it would be some sort of consolation to have a good performance at Mosport after our ousting there last year."
But what will it take for the team to accomplish that goal? What are the keys to success at Mosport?
"Mosport is the quickest track of the year," says Maassen. "A good balanced car is very important for the quick corners there. If you lose the confidence as a driver it is difficult to get it back. With the steep learning curve that we had in the past three races I am confident that our team can manage the challenges in Mosport as well."
Maassen, Miller and the rest of the No. 48 Porsche team will get their first crack at managing those challenges on Friday afternoon in a promoter test session from 3:10 to 4:40 p.m. ET. Saturday's schedule begins with a pair of hour-long practice sessions, one beginning at 10:25 a.m. ET and the other at 2:25 p.m., followed by 15 minutes of qualifying from 3:50 to 4:05 p.m.
The race day schedule on Sunday opens with a 20-minute warm up at 10:00 a.m. ET. From 12:00 Noon to 12:45 p.m., Miller and Maassen will participate in the ALMS autograph session behind the Paul Miller Racing team transporter, and then it's on to the race. The Grand Prix of Mosport will be two hours and 45 minutes in length and takes the green flag at 3:05 p.m. ET.
ESPN3.com will offer live broadcasts in the United States for both qualifying and the race. The qualifying broadcast begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon with the race broadcast slated to start at 2:50 p.m. ET on Sunday. ESPN2 will have same-day tape-delayed television coverage beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday night. Live Timing & Scoring data from every session is also available at AmericanLeMans.com.
Paul Miller Racing is among the top GT teams competing in North American sports car road racing. In 2011, the team will contest the full American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, as well as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team enjoys a long-standing relationship with Porsche and competes with the support of four international sponsors in Chopard, Marquis Jet, IPC Information Systems and TOTAL Lubricants.
Follow the team on Twitter @paulmilleracing and @bryceracer and become a Facebook fan at facebook.com/paulmillerracing and Facebook.com/brycemiller.net.