Baltimore, MD (September 1, 2012) - Muscle Milk Pickett Racing had another trying experience at the Baltimore Grand Prix this year, with the team coming home with a disappointing third place finish in class.
The team seemed to be off to an easy Saturday afternoon drive when Lucas Luhr disappeared ahead of the competition after taking the green flag from pole position.
The German had a lead of over 30 seconds on the second place Conquest Endurance machine and had built a gap of one minute and 20 seconds on his closest P1 rival, Chris Dyson, 25 laps into the race.
However, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing once again encountered a problem - this time a shifting issue - that sent Luhr to pit lane and down the timing sheets.
With the car in pit lane, Klaus Graf got aboard the P1 car and once the issue was repaired, returned to the track eight laps down to the leaders.
Graf once again pushed as hard as he could to make up as much time as possible but in a two-hour event that was marred by a lengthy caution period, it was to no avail.
The German did however register the fastest race lap - a new race lap record - with a time of one minute 24.982 seconds.
Fortunately for the Pickett Racing crew, their Championship rivals also faced issues, which allowed Graf to close in to two laps of the #16 Dyson car and finish only one spot behind them.
At the end of the day, the team lost three points in the Championship standings and now have a nine point lead entering the next round at Virginia International Raceway which takes place September 14 and 15, 2012.
Lucas Luhr, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a "It was not the result we were going for. It's really a shame. Lately we always seem to have issues and it's not acceptable. It's endurance racing so the car must have endurance reliability. We need to work on that, it's very simple.
"On the positive side the Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a is still performing very well. We had a good pole position yesterday and the car was awesome to drive in the race, no doubt.
"It's disappointing for everyone on the team. We are all a little bit down at the moment, which is normal, but we need to roll up our sleeves and make sure we can have trouble free races from here on out."
Klaus Graf, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a "It was a crappy day obviously, certainly not the way we had it planned. We've had too many races this season with issues that have set us back and it can ruin the championship. Fortunately we make it back out every time and we make the 70% to score points but that's not what this is about.
"This would have been a Saturday afternoon drive, an easy one to win. Lucas did awesome on the start and everything was under control but then we had the shifting issue. It's a two-hour race, we shouldn't have any difficulty doing two hours in endurance racing when these cars are built for 12 and 24-hour races.
"We need to pull together as a team and see what the issues are. It certainly wasn't a perfect day for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing. On the bright side we got points for third place and the 16 Dyson car only finished second, so we didn't lose too much in the points standings. Everything is still OK from that side but we need to get back to victory circle."
Source: Muscle Milk Pickett Racing