Dated: March 12, 2012
PARSIPPANY, N.J. (March 12, 2012) - Paul Miller Racing will debut a new set of wheels in every sense of the word at this week's 60th Anniversary Twelve Hours of Sebring as the team announced today that its brand-new, Dunlop-shod No. 48 Chopard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR co-driven by Bryce Miller, Sascha Maassen and Rob Bell will utilize brand-new wheels from Motegi Racing.
Paul Miller Racing approached Motegi Racing last month with the challenge of building 20 new wheels in time for the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at Sebring. Just three weeks later, the race team now has five sets of Technomesh GT wheels in its arsenal.
"Joining forces with Motegi Racing is yet another exciting new relationship we are entering into for the 2012 season," said team owner Paul Miller. "I am impressed with how quickly Motegi Racing was able to turn around our order and with the quality of the Technomesh GT wheels. They look fantastic on our new Porsche RSR, especially with Dunlop rubber around them, and we are all looking forward to seeing them perform throughout the 2012 ALMS season."
"Paul Miller Racing has a long history of success with Porsche sports car programs and is the perfect technical partner for Motegi Racing to develop the best wheels for Porsche GT racing," added Jody Groce, President of Wheel Pros, the company that owns the Motegi Racing brand. "We are excited to work with Paul Miller Racing on a wheel for the team's new 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR."
Motegi Racing worked closely with the race team on critical dimensions for the new application, including brake clearance and load ratings. The Motegi Racing engineering team conducted thorough finite element method (FEM) analysis and produced detailed technical specifications on a new wheel to fit the car and the competition rules. Once Paul Miller Racing verified those specifications, the new Technomesh GT wheels were produced at the Motegi Racing facility in Italy and shipped to the team. It would have been nearly impossible for any other company to create wheels for a new application in such a short time frame, but Motegi Racing pulled it off.
"We have the right people and the right resources to make something like this happen," said Jose Matiauda, Global Motorsport Director for Motegi Racing. "We have everything we need to react to the needs of the racing industry and make product at this speed, and we know how to do it without making mistakes."
"I am very thankful for the cooperation from Motegi Racing and our team on this project," contributed Bryce Miller. "With Motegi as our wheel partner we now have the resources necessary to react to the fast paced demands of the motorsport environment. I'm very much looking forward to driving on their wheel this year."
Motegi Racing undertook a similar challenge to support a factory-backed Ferrari 458 GT3 that won the 2011 FIA GT3 championship and made its North American debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January. The wheels performed flawlessly. The partnership between Paul Miller Racing and Motegi Racing could expand in the future to include a line of racing-inspired wheels for production vehicles sold through the Paul Miller Auto Group.
The new No. 48 Chopard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR will makes its competition debut at the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The season-opening round of the 10-race 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón takes the green flag at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 17.
PHOTO: The No. 48 Chopard Porsche debuts new Motegi Racing wheels this week at Sebring. Credit: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image