Team Report: Paul Miller Racing Fifth at Oak Tree Grand Prix
Source: Paul Miller Racing.
ALTON, Virginia (August 23, 2015) – Paul Miller Racing and team drivers Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke finished fifth in the No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS Sunday in the Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway.
Both Audi drivers led the race and the finish was the best for the Castrol Audi team in the last three races despite high heat and slick track conditions.
“It was a difficult day today in the heat, especially toward the end of the race, the track gets really greasy, so it’s difficult for everybody,” von Moltke said. The TUDOR Championship is so close, especially in GTD that you really have to go for everything and attack everything. That’s what we were doing today.”
Von Moltke, who led the race’s opening laps after starting from the GT Daytona (GTD) division pole Sunday for a class-leading third time this season, ran no lower than second in his 50-minute stint.
Haase also ran first and second for the majority of his race-closing double stint before a late spin. He was tracking the race-leading Ferrari while running second just under 30 minutes from the finish when the Audi spun off course.
“The race went pretty well for us but all of a sudden it was pretty difficult to maintain the same speed and pace,” Haase said. “I was trying to get the maximum out of the car. After the long back straight under braking I felt a rear lock-up and then I spun.”
Haase quickly continued and pitted a lap later to have the Paul Miller Racing crew sweep some grass debris off of the Audi’s front end. The team got the Audi right back in the race and Haase defended the top-five position to the finish.
“After, I had four flat spots but I tried to keep the position at least,” Haase said. “I feel sorry for the guys on the team but, on the other hand, I tried to maximize and at least stay in the position that we had.”
Haase and von Moltke were among the few drivers able to at least stay in touch with the race-winning Ferrari.
“I led the first half of my stint, the Ferrari got by and, to be honest, they had a nice job on their setup and teamwork and were, frankly, just quicker than us on the whole run,” von Moltke said. “I feel like on new tires we had a really good car but toward the end of the stint we just didn’t have it. Chris did everything he could to keep it up front and, unfortunately, we just had some limits today, but that’s racing, it happens.”
The No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS, and Haase and von Moltke, now have 224 points in both the GTD team and driver championship standings. That’s just two points behind the second place team and drivers and eight points out of the lead in both championships.
“So, a P5 finish at VIR, it’s not horrible, still some points and we are not out of anything,” von Moltke said. “We are going to come back fighting and focus on now on COTA. Last two races to go, let’s go win this.”
Next up for Paul Miller Racing and the IMSA TUDOR Championship is the September 17 – 19 race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.
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.
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