Paul Miller Racing, and drivers Bryce Miller, Marco Holzer and Richard Lietz, have been on the pace and making progress in practice all week in the team’s Michelin®-shod No. 48 Chopard/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in preparation for Saturday’s 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by “Fresh from Florida.”
On track at Sebring International Raceway since Monday, the Paul Miller Racing team steadily worked through some early-week mechanical issues to rank among the top American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón GT competitors in the full week of practice.
The Chopard/TOTAL team made the most of the hard work and progress with a seventh-place qualifying effort Friday for tomorrow’s race with Holzer at the wheel. The No. 48 will grid for tomorrow’s Sebring classic on the inside of GT row four but is within just a few tenths – and well under a second – of the top qualifiers. Holzer clocked in at 1:59.543 (112.629 mph) in his top lap around the 3.74-mile Sebring road course.
“We have a good setup in the car,” Holzer said. “The guys did a good job. We are much closer than last year to the front guys. It is a long race, but with seventh I am happy, the car felt good, I could not get more out of the car and I am really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Holzer is in his first year as a full season teammate with Bryce Miller.
“The car overall is continuing to improve,” Bryce Miller said. “I just need the lapping that will come in the race I think for sure and I just keep looking at the data for Marco and Richard and improving. We are going in the right direction but now it is time to fight and look forward to the race.”
A works Porsche driver like Holzer, Lietz joins Paul Miller Racing for this year’s endurance races this weekend at Sebring and the season-ending Petit Le Mans. Like his teammates, he is making a return visit to the familiar Sebring circuit but Lietz has noticed at least one new characteristic.
“There are some changes,” Lietz said. “In the hairpin, corner seven, there is a ‘baguette’ in the middle of the corner, a big curbing bump that looks like a ‘baguette,’ so it is not so nice any more. You don’t want to hit this one; it will destroy the car a little bit.”
Despite the potentially dire consequences of an encounter with the ‘baguette,’ Lietz, a native of Germany as is Holzer, still enjoys Sebring’s character and his annual visit to Florida.”
“So, there’s some new parts, but it is still the same Sebring, the same airfield,” Lietz said. “Still very bumpy but, honestly, I always enjoy coming to Florida to race in the good weather in winter time and, apart from being an old track, I hope it is going to long stay like this.”
The 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida is set to go green at 10:45 a.m. EDT, tomorrow, Saturday, March 16, at Sebring International Raceway. SPEED’s live coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT. The ALMS website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Sebring 12 Hours and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
[Pic credit: Porsche North America]