Fall-Line Audi sees success in Sebring

The blue and white Audi finished 6th in class at Sebring.

Fall-Line Audi sees success in Sebring

Following a heartbreaking season-opener at Daytona in late January, #46 Fall-Line Audi R8 LMS crew rebuilt and came close to redemption at Sebring International Raceway for the 2014 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. The trio of Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub, and Christopher Mies finished the race on the leap lap, just 17 seconds behind the leader in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in what was a crash-plagued race with 11 full-course cautions.

Mies qualified the #46 car in 20th after catching traffic on his flying lap. He started the race and drove a double stint to make it all the way to P1 in just over two hours. Espenlaub was second in the car and drove for one hour before pitting and handing over the reigns to Putman who drove three hours straight. Putman got hit by a DP car that sent him spinning but he was able to make an impressive save and kept the car from any major damage.

At the halfway mark the #46 was running P11 under full-course caution and Espenlaub was back in. After more lengthy yellows, there was green flag running and Espenlaub drove a notable run climbing all the way to 3rd. Mies got in to drive the closing laps and was running P4 with two hours to go when he was also the victim of another on-track incident that cut the left front tire and he had to pit under green. Although the pit stop was executed very efficiently the time lost driving with a flat meant the #46 lost a lap. The lap was gained back as the leaders pitted and the #46 was back in the lead pack for the last hour. An emergency stop for fuel under the next yellow as the pits were closed cost the opportunity to run for the win as they went to the back of the line. The green then flew with just 20 minutes to go. Mies drove an impressive final few laps at ten-tenths but just wasn't able to make the podium and settled for 6th.

Charlie Putman:"You have to be pretty spoiled not to be happy with a 6th place finish at the Sebring 12 Hour as the teams and drivers in this race are the "Who's Who" of sports car racing. We certainly had the potential for the win or a podium finish but it just didn't come to fruition as we had hoped. A small traffic incident causing Chris (Mies) to brush a concrete wall and flatten a tire, cost valuable track position that we could not recover that late in the race. Chris did a great job saving the car from what could have been a disastrous crash and bringing it home for a new tire. Nathan's (McBride, lead engineer) strategy was inspirational and cool-headed and actually kept us in the battle right up to the checkered flag. It was a hard fought 12 hours as the number of crashes and resulting caution periods demonstrated. We did manage to run in the top-5 for the largest part of the race and Charles (Espenlaub) actually led the field for the majority of his first stint. I was proud of the crew as they picked up a position for us on almost every pit stop. We may not have taken first, but I was extremely proud of the entire team."

#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS: Charles Putnam, Charles Espenlaub, Christopher Mies
#46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS: Charles Putnam, Charles Espenlaub, Christopher Mies

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Christopher Mies: "I am quite happy with the result we achieved. We came all the way from P20 and finished P6. With a little bit more luck we could have finished on the podium and we were for sure one of the teams who could have won this race. But in the end you always need a little bit of luck.A huge thanks to Fall line Motorsports and my teammates Charles (Espenlaub) and Charlie (Putman) for their brilliant job.We worked very well together and improved the car each session. In the end the car was just phenomenal to drive during the race and I enjoyed every single lap. The team and my teammates did a great job without mistakes and I hope I can come back with them next year. Sebring was one of the toughest races I have ever done, and finishing just 17 seconds behind the class winner is more than awesome! I would love to join them at a later date and I wish them good luck for the rest of the races."

Michael Harvey, Fall-Line Motorsports Team Manager: "I am so proud of everyone at Fall-Line Motorsports and although a tinge frustrated with 6th place overall very happy. The guys on the both sides of the wall competed flawlessly and with 2 hours remaining we had a strong shot at the win. Unfortunately we got attacked by a DP and although not a killer blow, it was enough to dampen our day. It was great to rebound after the disappointment of Daytona and to run at the front in this historic event. A huge thanks to Audi Sport customer racing for all their support and encouragement, without Brad (Kettler) and his team the post Daytona rebuild would definitely have been much more difficult."

Fall-Line Motorsports is a premiere builder and fabricator of racecars for all levels of competition. Fall-Line specializes in BMW, Porsche, Audi and other high-performance makes. Fall-Line Motorsports unveiled their Grand-Am team in 2006 and won the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS Championship title in 2010. In addition to fielding 3 GS BMW M3s in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and an Audi R8 LMS in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Fall-Line also prepares and fabricates cars for other CTSC teams, SCCA and NASA drivers, track day prepared and high performance street vehicles. www.fall-linemotorsports.com @FallLineMotors www.facebook.com/Falllinemotorsports

Fall-Line Motorsports

shares
comments
Phillips, Ecklin make CTSCC Sebring debut with Automatic Racing
Previous article

Phillips, Ecklin make CTSCC Sebring debut with Automatic Racing

Next article

Al Carter was busy in Sebring

Al Carter was busy in Sebring
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020