Heading into the unknown
Benicia, CA (August 30, 2011) - Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing will be taking its three race win streak into completely unknown territory this week as the team and its fellow competitors head to the American Le Mans Series race at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.
The team is coming off its most satisfying and exciting win yet having crossed the finish line 112 thousandths of a second ahead of their Championship rivals at Road America, two weeks ago.
It's going to be crucial to quickly find a good balance on our Muscle Milk Aston Martin...
The finish was the closest overall margin in Series history and allowed the Muscle Milk squad to once again close the gap to the Championship leading Dyson Racing team, who now sit 18 points ahead in the standings.
The Greg Pickett-led crew will be looking to once again reduce the deficit in the points race by trying to keep its overall win streak alive on the streets of Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Furthermore, Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing will also be chasing a sixth Michelin Green X Challenge victory this year after claiming their fifth 'Fast, Clean and Efficient' award in a row at the previous round.
The feat won't be easy to accomplish, as Klaus Graf and his co-driver for the weekend Romain Dumas will be racing on a circuit that no one has any information on and that they will be seeing for the first time during the Thursday afternoon track walk.
As at every racetrack, the team's engineers and drivers work closely together in setting up the car, but the collaborative work between the two groups becomes of the utmost importance when arriving at a brand new track.
Both drivers and the team's engineers will be looking to collect as much data as possible, in very little track time, in order for them to quickly find the right balance on its Aston Martin and remain ahead of the competition.
While the playing field will be level for everyone in terms of learning the track, Frenchman Dumas will also need to acclimate himself with the Muscle Milk Aston Martin LMP1, a race car he will be sitting in for the first time when he jumps aboard at Baltimore.
Graf and Dumas will have two one-hour practice sessions on Friday, September 2, to familiarize themselves with the track ahead of the 15-minute qualifying session later that day.
Round 7 of the American Le Mans Series will go green at 4:30 pm ET on Saturday, September 3, 2011 and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com starting at 4:15 pm ET. The race will be broadcast on tape-delay on ABC Sunday, September 3 at 4:00 pm ET.
MUSCLE MILK QUOTES
Klaus Graf, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"The team is really looking forward to the first ALMS race in Baltimore. From what I've seen, the layout of the track is very good for a street course and the location along the harbor should be spectacular.
I have quite the challenge ahead of me going into Baltimore as it won't be an easy situation.
"We've won the last three races in a row and obviously we want to keep that streak alive. It's going to be crucial to quickly find a good balance on our Muscle Milk Aston Martin as track time is limited due to the schedule with the other series. It will be important to gather as much information as possible to find the right settings for the car in the little time we have on track. It should make for a fun and challenging weekend.
"Unfortunately, Lucas won't be able to team up with me for this one, but I'm very confident that we found the perfect driver in Romain to just jump in the car and do a good job. We enjoyed working together last year and the team will really welcome him back."
Romain Dumas, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"I'm very much looking forward to the race weekend and rejoining the Muscle Milk team but I have quite the challenge ahead of me going into Baltimore as it won't be an easy situation.
"Learning the track itself is a fairly easy process for me, walking the track on Thursday will be important but my top priority will be getting comfortable with the Muscle Milk Aston Martin and getting to know my new work environment, like learning all the buttons in the car and on the steering wheel as quickly as possible.
"Having to do that with limited track time, as both Klaus and I will both need to spend a good amount of time on track, just adds to the challenge. Additionally, the team is fighting for the championship so I need get up to speed very quickly in order to help them the best I can, and hopefully I can help keep their winning streak alive. All that said, I'm definitely ready for the challenge."