Corvette's Gavin and Milner collect third GT win of 2012
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 4, 2012) - Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's completed its drive for five Saturday with a victory in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge and sixth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the second year in a row and led for 108 of 123 laps in their No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.
The P1 driver's championship co-leaders have not lost an ALMS race since finishing second in class at the season-opening race at Sebring in March. Saturday, Graf finished a lap ahead of Dyson Racing's duo of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in their No. 16 Lola-Mazda coupe.
Luhr won pole position Friday and stayed in front for the entirety of his stint. He said, however, it was no walk in the park. The differing types of tire rubber laid down on the track surface from each of the competing series over the weekend made finding grip a hard chore early in the race. Luhr said he noticed a difference after the day's only caution period 30 minutes in.
"It was difficult during the first stint," he explained. "After the restart, I was a little bit worried because Guy was immediately behind me. But I saw I could pull away. I was constantly holding the gap. For us, everything was going to plan. Our car was running fine."
During the driver change to Graf at the 1:35 mark of the race, the car did not start immediately when Graf tried to fire the car following the pit stop. It happened again on another stop 40 minutes later. Graf said it served as a wake-up call that there is nothing easy about winning ALMS races.
"It looks easy from the outside, but we struggled a bit," Graf said. "It proves we have to keep getting better and better. It's not easy to drive around here. When the car is not that easy to drive, you can make a small mistake and lose the championship. Yes, we are leading and we have five in a row, but we really have to keep focused."
The GT battle once again went down to the last lap with Corvette Racing's Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin winning by 0.283 seconds in the No. 4 Corvette C6 ZR1. It was the third victory of the season for the Corvette duo, this one over the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long.