ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 7, 2015) – Paul Miller Racing, and No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 drivers Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke, will look to continue a competitive 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship campaign in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America this weekend.
Round seven of 10 races on the 2015 IMSA TUDOR Championship GT Daytona (GTD) schedule, the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 this Sunday, August 9, from 3 – 6 p.m. EDT. Live timing and scoring and IMSA Radio’s play-by-play is available during the race at IMSA.com, which is also scheduled to live-stream IMSA TUDOR Championship qualifying on Saturday, August 8, beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Paul Miller Racing’s Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS team, and the first-year Haase and von Moltke driver pairing, have been competitive at every race this season. The No. 48 squad has captured a class-leading two GTD pole positions, three-consecutive podium finishes and a pair of fifth-place results in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races.
The team was even of the verge of its first victory of the season one race ago at Lime Rock Park. Von Moltke led every lap of his race-opening stint from the pole and joined Haase as the only GTD teammates to lead the race.
“So far this season we have seen our team with Paul Miller Racing and our Audi R8 LMS consistently perform well,” von Moltke said. “I am confident we can continue that heading into Road America. Track wise, it could not be more different than Lime Rock Park, where our car felt very good, but hopefully we can show similar speed this weekend.”
The Lime Rock race didn’t end with a result worthy of the team’s performance. Haase was running comfortably up front just past the halfway mark when he was suddenly knocked out of the race after a contact incident with the leading Prototype Challenge (PC) competitor.
Haase was uninjured in the incident but the No. 48 was done for the day. The unforeseen retirement marked the first time Paul Miller Racing failed to finish a race since joining Audi Sport customer racing prior to the start of the 2014 season.
“You know, things happen in racing,” Haase said. “If you are at the wrong place at the wrong time, like we were in Lime Rock, things can change very quickly. Like we always do, we will just try to avoid those situations as best we can this weekend.”
While Lime Rock is the shortest circuit on the IMSA TUDOR Championship tour, Road America is the longest course at four miles in length. As always, fuel calculations will be of primary importance this weekend.
“No doubt, at Road America it is absolutely vital to have an exact idea of fuel used per lap, and how much fuel you have in the tank,” von Moltke said. “When you make a mistake by one lap you are very likely going to run out of fuel on track, which will ruin anyone’s race. Luckily, we have some extremely smart guys on our team which gives us drivers a lot more confidence. We can leave that completely up to them and just focus on our job, which is driving the car and saving or not saving as much fuel as they tell us.”
Haase, a factory Audi Sport customer racing driver from Germany, is in his second season with Paul Miller Racing. He debuted at Road America last year in the No. 48.
“It is always difficult to say before a race, but we should keep our performance at Road America,” Haase said. “We struggled a bit last year here but have had better total performance as a team this year. There are a couple of corners where you need a good flow and rhythm. These will be our corners.”
A three-day event, with all four IMSA TUDOR Championship divisions sharing the track after a pair of split races in July, the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase schedule begins today, Friday, August 7, with opening practice at 12 p.m. CDT. Another one-hour practice session wraps Friday’s schedule this afternoon at 4:15 p.m. CDT.
Saturday’s schedule has a final one-hour practice at 9:15 a.m. CDT before GTD qualifying later that day from 3:35 – 3:50 p.m. CDT.
Race-day Sunday begins with a 20-minute warm-up at 9 a.m. CDT with that afternoon’s featured Continental Tire Road Race Showcase going green flag at 2:05 p.m. CDT, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1.
– Von Moltke is looking for a Road America result reflective of his love for the track. “I have been racing at Road America since my days in Skip Barber back in 2007,” von Moltke said. “While I have not had the results I would have hoped for so far as a driver, you still love driving there. It’s quite a special track, and I hope this weekend I can get that good result here we have all been working so hard for.”
– Haase was quick to notice last year the always strong turnout of race fans at Road America. “Road America is one of my American favorites,” Haase said. “It has everything. Last year, I had a ride through the fan areas before the weekend had already started, and there were a lot of them. It is great to see when they sit on their pickup trucks with folding chairs and have fun.”
– Paul Miller Racing’s 2015 podiums were earned in three-straight races at Laguna Seca (2nd), Detroit (3rd) and Watkins Glen (3rd). Von Moltke was at the wheel for both of the team’s GTD-leading pole-winning qualifying efforts at Detroit and Lime Rock.
– Paul Miller Racing, and Haase and von Moltke, head into Road America leading the IMSA TUDOR Championship GTD class. The No. 48 team and its drivers have 171 points in first place in both the team and driver championships, five points clear of the second place team and drivers.
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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