Rising German sports car racing star Rene Rast will get his first taste of North American endurance racing in the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, as Paul Miller Racing announced today that the 24-year-old driver will share the Yokohama-shod No. 48 Marquis Jet/TOTAL/IPC Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT class with 28-year-old team leader Bryce Miller, from Summit, N.J., for the 2011 American Le Mans Series season opener.
Rast, of Steyerberg, Germany, most recently won the prestigious 2010 Porsche Super Cup title. He was also the 2008 Porsche Carrera Cup champion and a Volkswagen Junior competitor, and has raced in both the German Porsche Carrera and Super Cup series for the past four seasons. His endurance racing résumé includes a ride in a factory Audi R8 in the 2010 VLN Nurburgring Endurance Championship, as well as a class victory in the Nürburgring 24 hours race with Volkswagen 2007.
“I'm really looking forward to racing in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring,” said Rast. “I am very happy for the opportunity to race with such a professional, up-and-coming team in Paul Miller Racing and we will have a first-class driver lineup. I must thank team owner Paul Miller and his son, Bryce, for giving me the opportunity to fight for success.”
Rast got a preview of Paul Miller Racing's No. 48 Porsche and Sebring International Raceway's challenging 3.7-mile layout in the American Le Mans Series Winter Test two weeks ago. He made a good first impression on the team, as he parlayed that test into a ride for the premier event on the ALMS schedule.
“I'm really excited about Rene,” said Bryce Miller of his new co-driver. “His talent level has been proven by winning the Super Cup championship, and there's certainly no lacking of speed. The sports car endurance racing format is newer to him, but he gets along well with our team and the chemistry seems quite good between he and I. We're really excited about having him on-board for Sebring and the possibilities for the future.”
Rast and Miller will make up two-thirds of the team's driver lineup for the 12 Hours, and the pair of young drivers will be joined by a veteran driver to be announced later this week. Paul Miller Racing already proved its ability to put together a strong lineup for endurance racing in its first race of 2011 in January, when Miller joined forces with Bryan Sellers, Tim Sugden and Rob Bell to take second in the GT class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and the team will be looking to continue that success in Florida's other prestigious endurance event.
“We're really thrilled with the lineup we've assembled for the 12 Hours of Sebring,” said team owner Paul Miller. “Bryce and René managed to establish a good working relationship with each other and the team in testing, and they're going to do a great job for us on race week in Sebring. They both will also benefit from the veteran leadership of the driver we will be announcing soon. I think we've got another strong lineup for Sebring and I am excited to see how we perform.”
The 59th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida is scheduled for Saturday, March 19. The once-around-the-clock event will take the green flag at 10:30 a.m. ET.