Lakeville, CT (July 6, 2013) - Some would say it was a walk in the park at Lime Rock for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing as the team took its third win this season by crossing the finish line six laps ahead of its closest competitor at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix on Saturday, under what were extreme heat conditions.
However, while the end of the race showed a dominating victory, the start of the race was a different story and nearly as heated as the ambient temperature.
The team headed into the event on pole position, but the #16 car of Dyson Racing took over the lead at the start. What ensued was a close battle between Chris Dyson and Lucas Luhr for the first 48 minutes of the race.
The pair exchanged the lead a couple of times before Luhr took over first place, for good, with just under two hours to go.
The Muscle Milk team then saw their lead grow to two laps when the Dyson car had issues during their pit stop.
By the time the driver of the #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c returned to pit lane for a driver change to Klaus Graf with 45 minutes remaining, the team was ahead by four laps. Graf went on to take the checkered flag with a six-lap lead, giving Pickett Racing a third win in a row this year.
The victory at Lime Rock Park was also the second consecutive one at the 1.474-mile, seven-turn road course for the Greg Pickett-led team and third in four races at the Connecticut track. It was also the 44th career win for Luhr who leads the ALMS in wins and the 17th for Graf.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be back on track in two weeks time for the Grand Prix of Mosport at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada which takes place July 20 - 21, 2013.
Muscle Milk Quotes
Lucas Luhr - driver #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c
"I wasn't too happy with the decision at the start of not throwing the green flag on the first lap as I am the leader of the pack but other than that it was all good. I had fun fighting with Chris. "It's very tough to overtake here, especially with our car, as we are always a little slower than the coupes down the straights, but in the end I managed to get around him and got a little bit of a gap and then they had a problem. "It was tough today, it was very hot in the Muscle Milk car, and obviously the traffic here is a little crazy. You just have to say to yourself 'calm down, it's all ok' because you are stuck in traffic all the time. It's almost like fighting with a jet against a 747, especially against the GTC cars because the speed difference is just amazing. On a short track like Lime Rock you are overtaking every two seconds. "However, we managed traffic well and the boys did good in the pit stops even with some of our mechanics suffering from the heat so I have to say a big thanks to them. I'm pretty sure they are exhausted and will get some well deserved rest tonight."
Klaus Graf- driver #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c
"This is the type of race that you can only lose, there is nothing to win when you lead by so many laps. Lucas did the majority of the driving today. He drove very well, very patient, which is important here. Greg Pickett, our owner, who isn't here this weekend, sent us a message saying 'guys, it's a long race, be patient' and that's what Lucas was at the beginning. He certainly had a couple of occasions where he could have stuck it in, but he didn't and that was the right decision. Chris was fighting very hard and it's their home race so they were driving to win this. "We had a good lead when I got in and I just got into my rhythm, into a groove. You need to do this so you can become predictable to the traffic, to the other cars. That's the most difficult part because they were use to Lucas earlier being very aggressive and I then need to set a pace and an action plan that matches that if not that's when you can get caught up in problems. "The guys did well in the pit stops, especially in these conditions, in this heat. I think it was an advantage for us to have an open top car today. Overall, it was another great day for Muscle Milk, HPD and Michelin."
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing