Paul Miller Racing confirms full 2015 IMSA season with Haase and Von Moltke
Paul Miller Racing confirmed Friday its participation in the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the full-season pairing of returning Audi Sport customer racing driver Christopher Haase with new signee Dion von Moltke for the team’s No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS.
Haase will run his second full season with Paul Miller Racing after being a primary part of the team’s successful 2014 campaign in its first year of competition with Audi Sport customer racing. Haase and then full-season teammate Bryce Miller co-drove to 2014 championship runner-up honors in the GT Daytona (GTD) class and a race victory with Matt Bell in the season-ending Petit Le Mans.
Von Moltke joins Paul Miller Racing for the first time in 2015, taking over for Bryce Miller who remains with the team as a driver in endurance races. 2015 Audi Sport driver Rene Rast also returns to Paul Miller Racing as part of the team’s four-driver Rolex 24 At Daytona lineup for the second-consecutive year. Rast co-drove to a GT class victory in the 2012 Rolex 24.
"We enjoyed racing and working closely with Audi Sport customer racing to earn some strong results in 2014 and feel very encouraged about our second season with the R8 LMS and Christopher," Paul Miller Racing Team Owner Paul Miller said. "We’re delighted to have him back, he knows the tracks now and understands the team dynamic. He is obviously a huge driving talent and a great guy too, a real team player."
Von Moltke brings extensive experience in the Audi R8 LMS to the Paul Miller team and is one of just a handful of drivers who has driven the R8 in competition every season since its North American debut in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2012. He was part of the Rolex 24 GT class-winning Audi R8 team in 2013.
"We had the opportunity to watch Dion closely throughout this past season and have to come to rate him highly as a driver," Paul Miller said. "We also rate him highly as a person, he’s serious about his craft, works hard and exhibits great character. He and Christopher will be a formidable combination."
Haase and von Moltke will compete in each of 2015’s 10 IMSA TUDOR Championship GTD rounds and will be joined by Bryce Miller in the four races that make up the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (NAEC). Bryce Miller, Haase and the No. 48 team also earned GTD runner-up honors in the NAEC in 2014.
"Bryce will be an important part of our full endurance-race program in 2015," Paul Miller said. "He brings tons of experience and race savvy that is invaluable to our program. We are also thrilled to have a driver of Rene’s considerable talent available to us again for the Rolex 24. We honestly believe that at all levels, from team to pit crew to drivers and the fantastic support of Audi Sport customer racing and the amazing Audi R8 LMS, our effort this season will be well positioned to contend for the GTD title."
In addition to second-straight seasons with Haase and Audi Sport customer racing – and experienced drivers von Moltke, Bryce Miller and Rast – Paul Miller Racing is also returning in 2015 with 100 percent of the same pit crew and engineering staff.
"We have always felt stability was the most important dynamic for the program," said Paul Miller Racing Team Manager Mitchell Simmons. "For the other crew members and drivers it provides a platform where we know our strengths and weaknesses. It allows us to capitalize on these strengths and continue working on the weaknesses."
Paul Miller Racing was the top team of Audi Sport customer racing in the 2014 IMSA TUDOR Championship. Haase won the pole in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and joined Bryce Miller for the team’s first podium two races later at Laguna Seca where they finished second. The team finished third in Detroit one race later and earned another runner-up result at Indianapolis before giving Audi its only win of the season at the Petit finale.
"I have never worked for a team more deserving of a win, and to get it at Petit was absolutely fantastic," Simmons said. "For a team that had the fifth fastest car it proved how great the crew worked together. We ran a perfect race with excellent strategy and it was a fantastic run."
Paul Miller Racing’s competition relationship with Audi Sport customer racing complements a longtime retail partnership the Paul Miller Auto Group has enjoyed with the manufacturer. The dealership group has included since 1976 Paul Miller Audi, one of the largest Audi dealerships in the nation, which made the team’s on-track switch to Audi a logical decision.