By: Nancy Knapp Schilke
- Graf earns Mosport pole
- Dyson Racing 2nd & 3rd
- BMW RLL take 1-2 in GT
Muscle Milk AMR's Graf and Luhr to start on Mosport pole for Sunday's race in Canada
Even after hitting the tire wall at pit entrance the Muscle Milk AMR team did not slow down as Klaus Graf took the pole at Mosport International Raceway with his best lap at 1:08.679 (128.895 mph) in today’s American Le Mans Series qualifying. The German was 0.365 seconds faster than their main P1 rivals from the Dyson Racing camp.
"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,” admitted Graf.
The Muscle Milk crew did an awesome job...
Graf ended the first practice this morning by bringing out the red flag and ending the session early, but the team fixed the right side bodywork and right rear suspension. The No. 6 Aston Martin Lola B08 62 was ready to go and Graf laid down his flying lap on his third tour around the 2.459 mile road course in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
“The Muscle Milk crew did an awesome job putting the car back together for the second session and qualifying,” said Graf adding, “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.”
His countryman, Lucas Luhr, will share driving duty for the 2 hour and 45 minute race on the fast but tricky circuit. "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,” Luhr said. “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."
Second belonged to the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola B09 86 Mazda of Guy Smith with a 1:09.044 (128.214 mph). The team’s second car made its debut at the home track for Dyson just two weekends ago and today, Steven Kane ended third fastest in his qualifying run.
GT pole winner was Dirk Müller for the BMW RLL team, earning the team’s third consecutive pole this year. Müller’s best lap of 1:17.083 (114.842 mph) in the team’s No. 56 M3 GT was just 0.059 seconds faster than his own teammate in Bill Auberlen in the No. 55.
“I knew flying in to the track that we had a lot of momentum, and you just want to keep it flowing,” Müller said. “It doesn't matter who is in the car; we can be fast either way for setup. We need to concentrate now on finishing. Yes we've won three in a row, but we are just into the fourth round of the championship, so we need to stay focused keep getting points.”
In the Prototype Challenge class, it was Kyle Marcelli who earned his home race pole with his best lap of 1:11.331 (124.103 mph) in the Oreca FLM09 from the Intersport Racing stables. Marcelli hails from nearby Barrie and was six-tenths of a second faster than Gunnar Jeanette in the Core Autosport car.
“We were quick right off the truck, and have been fast all weekend long, and I got a good feel right out of the gates,” Marcelli said. “I do a lot of private coaching here with gentlemen with their (Porsche) GT3s or Corvettes, but it's different when you're riding coach in those (compared to) driving an LMPC car. The harder we're pushing these cars the more you can find grip which makes for a great experience.”
For the field of Porsche GT3 Cup cars in the GT Challege class, Damien Faulkner was the pole winner with a fast lap at 1:22.861 (106.834 mph) for the Black Swan team. Hailing from Ireland, it was his first time at the Mosport circuit. Faulker was only 0.078 second s faster than Spencer Pumpelly. The TRG team driver had a best lap of 1:22.939 (106.734 mph).
“This is a real drivers’ track. I’m pleased to be fast,” Faulkner said. “I’m not really into video games, and I’ve just got Allan to thank for his YouTube video that I watched a few times. It’s a tough place, very tough, very challenging. A big thank you to Tim and the Black Swan team.”
On a closing note, Muscle Milk Motorsports is also celebrating birthdays this weekend and that may give Graf and Luhr an added incentive in tomorrow’s race. Not only are the two drivers on the birthday wish list but so is crewman Bill Rader and Travis Lewis. Since today is Lewis’ birthday, the best present after he was amongst the team members who repaired the Aston Martin definitely cheered him up when the Greg Pickett owned team and Graf earned their second overall pole.