Road Atlanta: Team CytoSport preview

Muscle Milk Team CytoSport geared up for final showdown Benicia, CA (September 23, 2010) - Muscle Milk Team CytoSport may have been forced to sit out one race this season but it still finds itself in the championship hunt heading into the...

Muscle Milk Team CytoSport geared up for final showdown

Benicia, CA (September 23, 2010) - Muscle Milk Team CytoSport may have been forced to sit out one race this season but it still finds itself in the championship hunt heading into the famed Petit Le Mans, the final round of the 2010 season.

The team sits in second place, 16 points behind the championship leading Highcroft Racing team. The gap equaling the amount of points Highcroft scored at Mid-Ohio, the one race that the Muscle Milk squad missed on account of a testing crash.

Even if the team has three victories to its credit this season and is still carrying the momentum from a dominating weekend at Mosport a few weeks, trying to clinch a first championship isn't as easy at it sounds.

The final showdown at Road Atlanta is a 10-hour/1000-mile (whichever comes first) endurance battle that tests man and machine at what is known as one of the most challenging races on the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron schedule.

In order for Team CytoSport to win the LMP title it has to complete at least 70% of the race, but their championship rivals must also fail to finish that same distance.

While the Muscle Milk crew and its Michelin-clad Porsche RS Spyder are up to the challenge and mainly focused on capturing another win, they are also aware that Highcroft Racing has been a tough and reliable opponent all season long.

Joining Klaus Graf aboard the #6 Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder for the season-ending championship fight is the team's regular endurance co-driver Sascha Maassen as well as four-time ALMS champion Lucas Luhr who is replacing the injured Greg Pickett.

All three Germans have good memories of racing at Road Atlanta but the Georgia track has extra significance for a couple of the Muscle Milk drivers with Maassen scoring his first ALMS victory there in 1999 and Graf calling it his home track, having lived in the area for three years.

The trio now hopes to create even more memories as they close out a season, which has already exceeded Muscle Milk Team CytoSport's expectations.

On track action starts Wednesday, September 29 with a one hour and 30 minute test session from 4:15 p.m. ET. Official practice gets underway on Thursday with three practice sessions, including a two-hour night practice starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Qualifying for Petit Le Mans takes place on Friday at 3:50 p.m. ET with the race going green at 11:20 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

The Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda2 will be broadcast live on SPEED starting at 11:00 a.m. ET on October 2, 2010.

What they have to say:

Lucas Luhr, driver #6 Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder
"Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks and it will be great to return there, especially in the Porsche RS Spyder. The track is a challenging one with its different elevation changes but it's also a fun one to drive.

"I can't wait to get on track next week. I look forward to working with Klaus Graf and Muscle Milk Team CytoSport and to be teaming up with Sascha Maassen again. Sascha and I have raced many, many times together and it will be fantastic to partner with him again."

Sascha Maassen, driver #6 Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder
"I always enjoy going back to Road Atlanta as it was the first race I won in the U.S. in 1999. It was also my first one with Muscle Milk Team CytoSport last year and it will be great to be back with them for a third race this season. The team has known much success since our last outing together at Laguna Seca, picking up even more momentum, and I look forward to helping them fight for one more win this season.

"I'm sorry that Greg will not be in the car with Klaus and myself at Petit Le Mans but I'm looking forward to driving the Porsche RS Spyder with my good friend Lucas again. We had a successful six-year partnership together winning four championships and we shared great memories aboard the Spyder. It would be nice to add to those."

Klaus Graf, driver #6 Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder
"Going to Road Atlanta is like coming home for me. I really look forward to going into Petit Le Mans this year. It's great that it's the last race of the season again. I love this place and call it my home track in the USA as I lived in Atlanta for three years.

"The fact that we'll decide the ALMS Championship at this last event with so many cars entered is going to make for a great race. We don't really want to think too much about the Championship, we just want to win another race, that's all we can try to do. The Highcroft guys have been a very fair and tough competition throughout the season and we'll give them all we have again at Petit.

"With the addition of Lucas for this race, Muscle Milk Team CytoSport will again have a great addition to our driver lineup. Lucas also knows the Porsche RS Spyder extremely well and I know he also loves Road Atlanta. Together with Sascha we'll try to put another big smile on Greg (Pickett)'s face, who I'll dearly miss again in the car."

-source: team cytosport

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Series ALMS
Drivers Klaus Graf , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Greg Pickett