Simmons: The Car Has Podium in It

by Nick Smith

Paul Miller Racing’s team manager Mitchell Simmons is confident that the #48 Audi R8 LMS is ready for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Speaking after the traditional pre-race test, the Roar Before the 24, the team boss said, “As it sits right now, I think the car definitely has a podium in it.”

Paul Miller Racing tested the 2015 spec Audi for the first time at the Roar. The test was also the first time out for a new driver to the team, 2014 Rolex 24 GTD Champion, Dion Von Moltke. Von Moltke joins Christopher Haase as a full season driver for the team, who will also use long-time driver Bryce Miller and endurance specialist Rene Rast for the opening round of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship.

“I’m really loving life here at Paul Miller Racing,” von Moltke said. “It was a really strong first test for us. I feel right at home with the team. They have done a great job welcoming me in and making me feel like I’m really a member of the team. I don’t feel like it’s my first weekend with them.”

Simmons added, “The car pretty much did everything we expected it to do, the simulation was spot on, and we ran some good laps. We made a little bit of a wrong turn just testing some things out about mid-day yesterday but for the most part we are very happy.”

“It was a great test days and we worked on a good car set-up for the race,” Haase said. “You always need some luck too but I am optimistic we have a good car for the Daytona race. A great job from the team and all drivers during the Roar, very focused, and we worked hard on everything in a team effort for perfection. We did lots of driver change practice, which was very helpful, we are good but still have to improve some small details in the cockpit to be a bit quicker.”

Paul Miller Racing is one of the few teams to have made no changes to the engineering staff during the off season. The crew servicing the #48 Audi R8 LMS during the 2015 Rolex 24 will be 100% identical to the crew from the 2014 event. Miller thinks this gives the team an advantage.

“The comfort level is good,” he explained, “with Christopher being back, with some of the Audi support personnel that are here, we get to build on relationships that we were just starting out on a year ago. That’s confidence inspiring, and gives the whole team a different perspective or outlook going into this race. We are building on a foundation of a full year of relationships, processes and procedures that will go a long way in helping us try to learn and progress in areas that maybe we didn’t cover last year.”

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