American Le Mans Series (ALMS)
Luhr Quickest in Damp Long Beach Practice
Muscle Milk in pursuit of second straight southern California win
Lucas Luhr ended a damp practice Friday morning with the fastest time in a two-hour session for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The two-time ALMS winner at Long Beach set a time of 1:33.121 (76.082 mph) in Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a. He and Klaus Graf are the defending overall race winners and can become the first pair to win in consecutive years at the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.
Luhr was 0.527 seconds clear of Kyle Marcelli in Merchant Services Racing’s ORECA FLM09. The young Canadian was the fastest Prototype Challenge entry at 1:33.648 (75.654 mph). The speeds were well below times from previous years due to heavy rain that pelted Long Beach just as the session began.
The track dried in the last 30 minutes, and the top five cars set their quickest times on their next to last laps.
Martin Plowman was the fastest P2 driver at 1:33.875 for Conquest Racing and its Morgan-Nissan prototype. Team Falken Tire’s Wolf Henzler reminded everyone of his sterling performance in the wet last year at Mid-Ohio with the fastest GT lap Friday – 1:33.964 in his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Michael Valiante set the quickest time in GT Challenge for JDX Racing with a lap of 1:40.020 (70.834 mph). That class battle was the closest of the session with Alex Job Racing’s Leh Keen only 0.162 seconds back.