- The scene in the Paul Miller Racing pit after a grueling 60th Anniversary Twelve Hours of Sebring was pure jubilation as Bryce Miller, Sascha Maassen and Rob Bell co-drove the No. 48 Chopard/Dunlop/TOTAL Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to a seventh-place GT result.
Two of the cars finishing ahead were FIA World Endurance Championship entries, so the driving trio actually earned fifth-place points from the longest event on the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón schedule.
"Obviously, we've been on a learning curve, both with the car and the tires at the same time, so to be the first Porsche in ALMS is a huge accomplishment for us," said team owner Paul Miller. "I'm very excited for the guys. The car ran like a train all day and all night, so we're really pleased. It's just great and so far beyond what we could have expected.
"We were just hoping for a little more attrition in front of us, because there was no change in that order for the last five, six hours of the race. The last half of the race, it was the same six guys in front of us. Nobody dropped out. It was amazing. There were guys doing two-minute flats and 2:01s, it was just incredible, all the way through, and there was zero attrition. It was amazing."
It was Bryce Miller's best result in three Sebring starts, but it didn't come without a few tense moments as the laps wound down. Miller took over in the cockpit for Maassen to drive the final stint with slightly more than an hour remaining with the singular goal of preserving the team's seventh-place position.
While he was never challenged for position, Miller ran the entire closing stint in fuel conservation mode and had one liter of fuel remaining in the fuel cell after the race. He also survived contact from a Rebellion prototype inside of the final five minutes.
"We kept looking for opportunities and mistakes and other crews making mistakes in the pit stop rounds, and just stayed true to our strategy," said Bryce. "We had a couple hiccups along the way, but all in all, that's where it counted. We kept it pretty tight. It was tight enough and the race pace was good enough, and we kept it clean enough, that at the end we were there. That's what counted.
"The fuel call that the guys on our cart made was just absolutely