Bryce Miller Wraps Up First Leg of Whirlwind World Tour
Fifth Place Run at Spa Followed by Successful Test at Road Atlanta
One wouldn't know there are 13 weeks between the second and third rounds of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón by looking at the schedule being kept lately by Bryce Miller.
For starters, the lead driver of the No. 48 Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche 911 GT3 RSR has crossed the Atlantic Ocean four times since Round 2 of the 2011 ALMS calendar at Long Beach on April 16, most recently to compete in the 1000 km of Spa, Round 2 of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC), on Saturday, May 7.
Miller teamed with Horst Felbermayr Jr. in the No. 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 RSR for the Belgian enduro and the duo led a healthy portion of the race's first two hours in the GTE Am class after Felbermayr qualified the car sixth in class. A tire problem at the most inopportune time robbed them of a shot at the victory, but Miller and Felbermayr still brought home a top-five result.
"I was leading by 50 seconds when our tire blew out just after pit in," said Miller. "That put us down two laps, but the team rallied and we were able to come home with a fifth place. Horst did a great job as well. I believe we will be competing for podiums together."
The Spa race was Miller's second trip to Europe in the span of two weeks, as the 28-year-old racer from Summit, N.J., also participated in the official 24 Hours of Le Mans test at the Circuit de la Sarthe on April 24. He shared the No. 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 RSR with fellow American racer Spencer Pumpelly, British pilot Nick Tandy and Saudi Arabian driver Abdulaziz Al Faisal.
Upon returning Stateside last week, it was off to Road Atlanta for Miller and the Paul Miller Racing squad for two days of testing at Road Atlanta, near the race team's adopted hometown of Buford, Ga. It was a productive two days of testing in which Miller, co-driver Sascha Maassen, and the team continued to familiarize themselves with the nuances of their ALMS GT-spec Porsche 911 RSR and its Yokohama tires.
"Our test was very successful," Miller said. "We were able to find some new settings that worked quite well that we can apply in the races going forward."
Miller's schedule will not slow up much between now and the time the ALMS season resumes with the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, July 9, as he will traverse the Atlantic four more times in June and early July. Next up is the world's most prestigious endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12, followed by the 6 Hours of Imola in Italy for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup on July 3.
Miller will also be competing in the ILMC 6 Hours of Silverstone in England on September 11 in addition to contesting all remaining rounds of the 2011 American Le Mans Series.
-source: bryce miller