With three races to go, the battle in GT Daytona is far from over, and one of the challengers for this year’s championship win is Paul Miller Racing, with drivers Dion von Moltke and Christopher Haase.
While Christina Nielsen of TRG-AMR stormed into the points lead last time out at Road America, the Paul Miller Racing duo of von Moltke and Haase are only two points behind, and so still have a very strong shot at the title in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship‘s Pro-Am GT class.
The first of these chances to take the lead comes this weekend at the GT-only Oak Tree Grand Prix, held at Virginia International Raceway. Ahead of the race, The Checkered Flag asked von Moltke about his title hopes, the changes that lie ahead for 2016, and the finding the balance between racing and studying.
The Checkered Flag: “What do you and the team need to do to have the best chance of winning the championship?”
“We just need to keep concentrating on maximising anything we can control, and focusing purely on the task at hand,” he commented. “Take it one race weekend at a time, and for the drivers, one corner at a time. We have a fantastic team supporting us and a great car in the Audi R8 LMS, so we just need to make sure we are performing at our absolute best against this strong competition.”
Following this Sunday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix is another 2h40 race, the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas. To end the season will be the infamous 10 hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
TCF: “You haven’t won yet this season but have instead had consistently strong results. Which of the upcoming races do you think you’ve got the best chance of winning at?”
“Paul Miller Racing won at Petit Le Mans last year, so you look to that race initially. But honestly it is just so hard to win a race in the GTD class of the Tudor Championship, or any class actually. You can’t really look at one race track and say this is our opportunity, anyone can win on any given weekend.
“If we execute this in the right way then we have an opportunity to win any of the last three races, so hopefully we can do this!”
Although a lot of the focus in the sportscar paddocks at the moment is on the LMP2 changes coming in 2017, the GTD class is going to be a lot different next year, with full-GT3 cars being allowed to enter for the first time.
“I can’t wait for full-on GT3 cars to be apart of the Tudor Championship. I really thought they should have been here from the start, but it’s actually still worked out well and I am excited they are now going to be apart of it. You will only see more competition, and better racing next year!”
TCF: “Are there any other races you’d like to enter if given the opportunity?”
“I have a long list there! Le Mans is naturally on the top of my list, along with the Spa 24 Hours, Nurburgring 24 hours, and Bathurst 12 hours! I love the endurance sportscar races as you can see!”
TCF: “Would you ever be interested in a prototype drive or is your heart set in GT?”
“If it was the right opportunity in prototypes I would love to do it. While I absolutely love GT racing, as a driver it is always nice to be battling for overall wins.”
Along with his busy racing career, Dion currently studies at Florida International University.
“I am studying business and entrepreneurship at FIU. As a racing driver you have to have a good business sense, so continuing my studies along side my racing career just made perfect sense.”
TCF: “How important is your South African heritage to you?”
“I drive under both the American and South African flag. I was born in the U.S. and proudly represent the country, but my family is South African and I do get to there quite often. Every time I step foot back in South Africa it does feel like home as well, its just such an amazing place. So for me it just made sense to represent both.”
TCF: “Finally, who’s your pick for the Prototype championship winner this year?”
“Man, I have been so concentrated on our year I rarely look to them to be honest. I know it is really tight at the top, but it’s hard to go against Action Express. They have a two car team and have obviously done it before. But I’ll go with the upset and take VisitFlorida.com Racing to win it!”