Miller Motorsport Park Report

May 18, 2008
Patrick leads the pack in the #6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder

TOOELE, UT — Penske Racing had an overall 1–2 finish at the high speed Miller Motorsports Park Sunday, with Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard claiming their second overall victory of the season in the #7 Porsche RS Spyder over an increasingly dangerous Acura contingent and the powerhouse Audi R10s. Patrick Long and Sascha Maasen took 2nd, racking up their 3rd consecutive podium finish of the season. Long, who qualified the car in 5th position, drove the second stint of the 2 hour, 45-minute race, after the team decided to change strategy, allowing Long to finish the race.

At the drop of the green flag, the two Audi R10s took advantage of their higher horsepower to claim the lead, shuffling Maassen in the #6 car back to 7th position. After a restart early in the race, Maassen was pushed off-track to 10th by a slower GT2 car, but was able to continue undamaged. Through steady and smart driving, he was able to regain 5th position during his stint, and clocked his lowest lap times late in his long stint. Overall, the race was a very tidy affair, with only two caution periods, for a total of 6 laps.

Long climbed aboard after half-distance and set about fighting through traffic. He said, “Sascha was fantastic in the car today, and did a great job recovering after the rough-and-tumble start to the race. He was able to avoid damage to the car when he got pushed off by the GT2 car, and then ran some really fast laps at the end of his long stint.”

He continued, “Sascha’s times at the end of his stint gave me the confidence to go chase down the Audis and the de Ferran Acura. We were running a different strategy to the Acuras, but it was a battle royale out there. The de Ferran car was the fastest on the track, but we were able to leapfrog to 2nd overall, by way of pace, attrition and perfectly executed strategy by Team Penske. With no caution flags in my stint, it was just a flat-out sprint to the finish, which was interesting with all the traffic. In the end, a 1–2 for Penske and Porsche is a great result. It’s great for points and gives us some momentum to build on at Lime Rock after the June break for Le Mans. We’re one step closer to our first victory of the season, I’m confident it’s just a matter of time.”