Michelin wins at Grand Prix of Mosport
The Muscle Milk Aston Martin team and drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr persevered through “a roller coaster weekend” to claim the victory for Michelin in the Grand Prix of Mosport, the fourth stop of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season.
Graf and Luhr set the fastest time in Thursday testing and led the Friday morning official practice only to damage the right side and rear of the team’s Aston Martin Lola in a Friday spin. The team rebounded to earn the pole in qualifying on Saturday and dominated the early stages of today’s two-hour 45 minute race as Luhr built a lead of more than 50 seconds in the first half hour of the race.
The team failed to pit immediately when the pits opened for stops during the first full course caution period and that 50-second lead instantly became a 29-second deficit.
“We were on a roller coaster, one minute up, then suddenly down, and we had to push really hard to get through traffic,” said Graf, the defending race champion. “Lucas did a great job getting the lead back. He was actually past the pit lane entrance when they opened the pits. We both had some great fights along the way. Michelin was a big part of bringing us home in front, again,” said Graf.
The Dyson Racing Mazda of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith finished second, 28.420 seconds adrift while teammates Humaid al Masaood and Steven Kane finished third.
The victory is the third overall race win for Michelin in the first four races of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season. Michelin claimed its 14th consecutive victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month.
Corvette Wins GT:
Corvette Racing overcame a sixth place starting position to work through the field to end BMW’s three-race win streak. Using their Michelin tires to full advantage on a hot, sunny Ontario afternoon, Corvette’s Jan Magnussen and Risi Competizione Ferrari’s Jaime Melo reeled in the class leading BMW of Dirk Werner in the final hour. The pair closed an 11-second gap to less than 2 seconds, then took advantage of a late stop and go penalty on the BMW for avoidable contact to claim a Michelin 1-2 finish.
Taking the Le Mans Prototype Challenge class victory and fourth place overall was the CORE autosport entry driven by Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez. The team celebrated is the first ever 1-2 class finish as driver/team founder Jon Bennett and Frankie Montecalvo claimed second in class and fifth overall.
“The Mosport fans saw a great race today,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager. “The competition is very good and we are pleased to see our Michelin technical partner teams back on top of the podium. Our Michelin tire developers, designers, engineers and support teams all work very hard to have the right tires to help our teams perform at the highest levels.”