Muscle Milk AMR Road Atlanta qualifying report

Muscle Milk AMR press release

Bullitt finishes third in IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Championship

- Muscle Milk AMR to start Petit Le Mans from sixth row -

Klaus Graf
Klaus Graf

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Braselton, GA (September 30, 2011) - Mark Bullitt put an end to an excellent first season of racing in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama on Friday by moving into third place in the Championship standings.

The Muscle Milk Pickett Racing driver was looking for a podium finish to end the season but a series of unfortunate events hindered his plans and he went on to finish the final race of the year in 12th position.

Starting from sixth, Bullitt moved up to fourth at the start but his movement toward the front of the field was slowed when the one and only caution period came out following the start.

At the restart, Bullitt did his best to take over third place going into turn one but as he moved ahead of the third place car, he accidentally hit the pit speed limiter button and fell to seventh before he could get back to speed.

The German climbed his way back up to fifth and moved into a battle for fourth. Unfortunately for Bullitt, he ended up spinning on liquid left by the car that he was battling with and wound up 11th.

By the time the checkered flag fell, he had lost one more position to 12th but it was enough to secure him a third place in the final Championship standings.

Sixth row start for Muscle Milk AMR

The Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team took part in qualifying on Friday for Saturday's Petit Le Mans and placed 11th on the starting grid for the 10-hour/1000-mile race.

Klaus Graf was aboard the Muscle Milk car for the session and placed fifth provisionally after his first timed lap. Unfortunately the German wasn't able to keep that position as he caught up to a slower car during what could have been his fastest lap.

Graf did manage to go faster with a lap of one minute 10.948 seconds, but with a close group of petrol cars it placed him ninth. He went on to end up 11th on the grid when the checkered flag fell on the final qualifying session of the season.

The final race of the season will see the green flag at 11:30 am ET on Saturday, October 1. The Petit Le Mans will be streamed live on ESPN3.com starting at 11:15 am and will be broadcast on tape-delay on ABC Sunday, October 2 at 4:00 pm ET.

MUSCLE MILK QUOTES

IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE BY YOKOHAMA DRIVER

Mark Bullitt, driver #6 Muscle Milk Team CytoSport
"We came into the race with the Championship standings in mind, knowing that with some luck we could move into second. In order to do that though Pena would have to have some issues in the race and not score points.

"Once again we had a really good start but there was a lot of bumping going on and, luckily for us at that point, Pena got a flat tire but we still needed to finish in the top three. So on the restart I got by Walton for third but then by mistake I hit the pit speed limiter and I lost some spots there.

"I did manage to fight my way back up but in the end I got caught in slow traffic and hit a car in the esses and I ended up spinning out on the coolant of that car.

"In the end, we finished the race and scored enough points to finish third in the standings which is a very good finish for the whole Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team, especially for a team competing in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge for the first time. It was a good season for us and I think we learned a lot which is good for the future."

AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES DRIVERS

Klaus Graf, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"Certainly not the way we wanted to qualify today in 11th. On the lap that should've been our fastest, I caught traffic, which was really, really bad. Some guys really need to pay a little more attention. There are a lot of speed differences out here even within the prototype class, so if somebody comes up behind them they should pay more attention and get off line. That was very unfortunate it cost me a lot of time. It was close in the petrol class so it cost us several spots for sure."

"However, it doesn't really matter for a 10 hour race, and the race is what is important. We had a good car yesterday evening in the night session and I think the car will be very consistent, more so than other petrol cars. I think it's all about Greg having some fun in the race here, he can enjoy himself and then after that Lucas and I will go like hell and that's what we'll try to do."

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Klaus Graf , Eric Gilbert , Mark Bullitt
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Muscle Milk Pickett Racing
Tags aston martin, graf, luhr, muscle milk, pickett