Motorsport News - US
Miller and Maassen Carry Top Five Momentum to Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge
6th August 2012
Maassen Set to Make 100th ALMS Start in No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche
Riding the momentum of their second top-five result of the season and on the occasion of driver Sascha Maassen's 100th career American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrn start, Paul Miller Racing and No. 48 Dunlop/Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR co-drivers Bryce Miller and Maassen make the annual trek to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Saturday's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.
Miller and Maassen finished fifth in the Grand Prix of Mosport two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, matching the season-best fifth-place result they scored in the 2012 ALMS season-opening Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. As a result, the No. 48 squad is now sixth in the ALMS team standings, just four points in arrears of a top-five position as they move on to Mid-Ohio.
"I'm excited to roll out at Mid-Ohio," said Bryce Miller. "I think we're really starting to find our stride. We just have to keep after it."
Maassen has enjoyed considerable success at Mid-Ohio, what with a GT-class victory in 2004, three class pole positions and three visits to the podium. He's optimistic that he and the team were able to hit on a good setup during a two-day test session and the tight and twisty, 2.258-mile circuit.
"We tested in Mid-Ohio before," Maassen said. "That gives me the confidence to have the right setup from the first session. Therefore, we will be able to concentrate on fine-tuning and hopefully get the little bit extra speed that we need to beat the factory teams."
If they are able to do that, it will be another memory in a career full of great memories and performances over 100 starts in ALMS competition. For his part, Miller is thrilled to have the opportunity to share the No. 48 Porsche with Maassen for his 100th race.
"Celebrating Sascha's 100th race is a fun thing for our team, because so much of why he's with us is based off the experience that he has, not only on the track, but off the track as well," said Bryce. "What he can bring us as a team and his experience has been really valuable to us as a startup team. Those insights go a long way. Some of the teams he's driven for, obviously, play a factor into the caliber of that experience that he brings with him as well.
"When we get down into looking at data and working together, I think our time spent is pretty efficient because he's such a good communicator. It's been really a joy to work with him in that sense, to see things differently in and out of the car, both from the team perspective and the driver perspective, some of the ways in which he would look at gear selection and that sort of thing. There are areas where some of his expertise and the experience that he brings can cross over into almost an engineer's type position. That's been an interesting experience for me to feed off of that and to learn from that and to have a co-driver that has that in his drawer of goodies. Not all drivers can do that sort of stuff."
Official on-track activities at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge get under way on Friday with the first practice session of the weekend from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. ET. Practice #2 is scheduled from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying which runs from 12:42 to 12:57 p.m. ET for the GT class.
Saturday's race day schedule includes the morning warm-up from 9:20 to 9:50 a.m. and an all-driver autograph session at the team transporters in the ALMS paddock from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. The green flag on the two-hour and 45-minute race falls at 1:05 p.m. ET.
ABC Sports will offer live television coverage of the race beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Streaming video coverage of qualifying will be available on ESPN3.com beginning at 1:35 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon.
Live Timing & Scoring data from every on-track session, as well as in-car video and other live coverage will be available on the official website of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrn, alms.com.
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