IMSA GT3 Podium and ALMS Pole at Mosport
Bowmanville, Ont. (July 23, 2011) - The day didn't start the way the Muscle Milk team wanted with a crash in morning practice but it turned into a great one at Mosport International Raceway.
Mark Bullitt captured his first podium finish in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and Klaus Graf grabbed his and the team's second overall pole position in the American Le Mans Series.
Muscle Milk AMR bounces back to pole position at Mosport
The Muscle Milk team came back from a practice crash to capture its second Mosport International Raceway pole position today ahead of Sunday's Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport.
Klaus Graf, who scored his first American Le Mans Series pole position at Mosport in 2010, repeated the feat after crashing in the morning practice session and causing damage to his Aston Martin LMP1 car.
While the damage to the right side bodywork and right rear suspension wasn't too serious, the crew still had a lot of work ahead of them to get the car back together and on track in time to take part in Practice 2 that afternoon.
The Muscle Milk team once again did an amazing job getting the Aston Martin back on track with 14 minutes to go in practice. Graf initially rewarded them by posting the fastest time in practice and again by grabbing pole position over an hour later.
The German immediately jumped to provisional pole with his first flying lap and stayed there for the entire session. Graf went on to improve his lap time on his second lap and registered his fastest time on his third with a lap of one minute 8.679 seconds.
While it was a belated birthday gift to himself and teammate Lucas Luhr, today's pole position by Graf was one of the best gifts crewman Travis Lewis could ask for, especially after spending part of his birthday repairing the car. Lewis, along with Graf, Lucas Luhr and crewman Bill Rader are all celebrating birthdays this week while at Mosport International Raceway.
The Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team will be back on track Sunday morning for a final 20-minute warm-up at 10:00 a.m. ET. Round 4 of the American Le Mans Series' 2011 season will go green at 3:05 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on www.espn3.com starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 24. The race will be broadcast on tape delay that same day on ESPN2 from 10:00 p.m. to midnight ET.
Bullitt on target at Mosport
Muscle Milk Team CytoSport's Mark Bullitt charged to his first podium finish in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Saturday at Mosport International Raceway, with an impressive run that took him from 11th on the grid to third at the checkered.
With all 27 cars making a clean start into Turn 1, Bullitt patiently maintained his position in the early part of the race while keeping the leaders in his sight. By lap 5 the German had moved up one spot to 10th and one lap later he had made his way to ninth.
The driver of the #6 Muscle Milk Porsche Cup car kept his place up until a caution period about 13 minutes into the 45-minute event. Bullitt then took advantage of some post restart 'craziness' ahead of him to gain three more positions, before finding himself in fifth when a final caution came out with five minutes to go.
While it looked like the race would end under yellow, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge field did get one more green flag lap to the finish. And Bullitt made the most of it by gaining one spot when a car ahead of him went wide and by making a successful move on Chris Cumming in Turn 9 to give himself and his Pickett Racing team a third place finish.
We're very happy with the result because the team has worked very hard
Saturday's podium finish was the first for Bullitt and Muscle Milk Team CytoSport in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama. The German will be starting seventh for Race 2 of the Grand Prix of Mosport which takes place Sunday, July 24 at 12:55 p.m. ET.
The action can be followed through live timing and scoring at www.imsachallenge.com.
MUSCLE MILK QUOTES
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES DRIVERS
Klaus Graf, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"Well, my day was very exciting. (About the crash) I came out of Turn 9 and I slid across the concrete a little bit too much. You always slide there a bit but this time it was too much. I corrected and the car gripped right away and at that moment I ended up having overcorrected because the car got crooked again and it shot me off to the right side and in that area there's very little run off and I couldn't avoid crashing into the tire wall.
"Luckily there was no structural damage to the Aston Martin, just bodywork and the right rear suspension. It wasn't actually too bad. The Muscle Milk crew did an awesome job putting the car back together for the second session and qualifying.
"I like Mosport a lot and you have to obviously stay within your lines here to be successful and have a good set up because this place is daunting. It can bite you very quickly as we saw so to get the pole after this morning, it's very rewarding for the entire team.
"And to top it all off, Mark (Bullitt) came in third in the GT3 race which we were all very proud and happy about and then to get the pole position for the Muscle Milk Aston Martin it makes for a lot of excitement in one day."
Lucas Luhr, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"I always said Mosport is one of the tracks which separates the men from the boys because it is so quick here. What happened to Klaus this morning, he didn't really make a mistake he just slightly slid and because it's so quick here with little runoff he hit the barrier. On every other racetrack he would get away with it and end up in the gravel or run wide but there's just not enough room for that here.
"We have to say a big, big thank you to the Muscle Milk boys because they did a great job to put the car back together for Practice 2 and Klaus drove really well in qualifying.
"It's the first time for us this year on pole. Finally, we beat the others for the pole position so I'm really happy and I really look forward to the race tomorrow."
IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE BY YOKOHAMA DRIVER
Mark Bullitt, driver #6 Muscle Milk Team CytoSport
"We didn't do great in qualifying yesterday so we were starting 11th today. At the beginning of the race it was very difficult to overtake but we kept on charging. We had a couple of yellow flags which caused a little craziness on the restarts but the good thing for me was that I was able to take advantage of that all while keeping the leader in my sight.
"After the first caution period I got behind Chris (Cumming) and had a good battle going on with him. I tried to overtake him a couple of times but he was about five cars wide in most of the turns!
"After the second yellow, we only had one lap to the end so I knew it was time to go. I tried to overtake him a couple of times but he was just sliding around. I knew that in Turn 9 he would brake early so in Turn 8 I stayed on the outside and carried more speed through it and he was then on the outside in Turn 9 and I was on the inside so I got by him to finally get a podium.
"We're very happy with the result because the team has worked very hard on everything to get the car fast and this weekend it all came together. I'm really happy to have given Pickett Racing and Muscle Milk this result. Now I can't wait for the next race tomorrow."
By: muscle milk amr