Michelin race report

Michelin race report

Long Beach

Story Highlights

  • Michelin, AMR, Pickett history making win
  • Luhr and Graf flawless at Long Beach

Aston Martin Teams With Michelin To Make History At Long Beach Grand Prix

Winning today was proof that we made the right decisions and chose the right partners with Lola, Aston Martin and Michelin.

Klaus Graf

Greg Pickett's Muscle Milk team, Aston Martin and Michelin provided the platform, and co-drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf turned in a flawless performance to score the overall race victory in the 2011 American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, the second stop of the 2011 ALMS season

The dominant victory was the first overall win in ALMS competition for Aston Martin and the third for the Muscle Milk team in the past seven ALMS races. The team switched from Porsche to Aston Martin during the off- season.

Aston Martin becomes the tenth different manufacturer to claim an overall race victory in ALMS competition with Michelin, joining Audi, Porsche, BMW, Acura, Peugeot, HPD, Panoz, Zytek, Lola/AER, and Lola/Judd.

Starting on the outside of the front row, Luhr wasted little time in overtaking the pole sitting Dyson Racing Mazda to lead the first lap and build a comfortable lead before handing off to Graf midway through the two- hour race.

"We had some issues that cost us time in the Friday practice, but the car was good and Aston Martin and Michelin and the team all did a perfect job," said Luhr.

Pit stop for #6 Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing AMR/Lola Coupe B08/62: Lucas Luhr, Klaus Graf
Pit stop for #6 Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing AMR/Lola Coupe B08/62: Lucas Luhr, Klaus Graf

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

"Winning today was proof that we made the right decisions and chose the right partners with Lola, Aston Martin and Michelin over the winter," said Graf. The victory extends the MICHELIN record at Long Beach to five consecutive years.

Welcome to the Top Step: Finishing in third place overall and taking its first victory in just its second ALMS race was the CORE Autosport LMP Challenge prototype driven by Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez.

"Ricardo was able to build up a little bit of a lead in the first half of the race and since it was a bit hotter than yesterday we decided to change tires and that helped us regain the lead. Michelin knows how to handle the heat," said Jeannette. "We had a perfect weekend, winning the pole, the race and setting the fastest lap," said Jeannette, who was also the 2010 Long Beach LMPC class winner.

"Street Fight" Corvette Racing's Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin came home second in the "street fight" of a GT class battles while Risi Competizione Ferrari's Jaime Melo and Toni Vilander claimed third after starting 28th following a qualifying mishap. Rival BMW Team RLL's Joey Hand and Dirk Werner took the victory in a race that saw five different cars lead at various stages of the two-hour race on the 1.968-mile downtown street circuit.

We are pleased to help deliver Aston Martin's first overall race win in the ALMS.

Silvia Mammone

Level Five Heads for Le Mans Taking the victory in the LMP2 class, Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut took the big picture view and did just enough to claim the win and immediately started packing up the car for shipment to France for next Sunday's official "test day" for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Michelin Comments: "We are pleased to help deliver Aston Martin's first overall race win in the ALMS," said Silvia Mammone, manager motorsports, Michelin North America. "Long Beach is a great venue for us to showcase Michelin technology in open competition before a very large and enthusiastic audience. We congratulate Greg Pickett and the Muscle Milk team on their impressive victory."

-source: michelin

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Klaus Graf , Lucas Luhr , Oliver Gavin , Jaime Melo , Gunnar Jeannette , Greg Pickett , Christophe Bouchut , Ricardo Gonzalez , Dirk Werner , Toni Vilander
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Tags aston martin, lbgp, michelin, muscle milk, pickett