Third straight win for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing at Long Beach
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing made it three wins from three consecutive years on the streets of Long Beach with Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr charging to victory today.
Clever pit strategy from the team resulted in Lucas Luhr swapping to Graf early under yellow. While Rebellion Racing tried to stretch their fuel window, Graf was able to take the lead after the team’s second stop and was never challenged for the remainder of the two hour race.
The Muscle Milk squad was able to use the same set of Michelin street soft tires for both qualifying and the entire race.
“We’ve definitely had 100 percent the right strategy,” Graf said. “We used the first yellow for Lucas to come in and do our driver change. It was the right call. The way the race unfolded, it was perfect. The guys did an awesome job in the pits – no mistakes.
“The Muscle Milk crew worked great all weekend, improving the car. The Michelin street soft tires ran excellent. We ran the entire race on just one set of tires. It was such a great weekend, and I am so proud of everybody. This is a difficult street circuit with such a long straight. “You have to be careful with your downforce setting. Changes to the car after qualifying Our engineer Brandon Fry was laying in bed last night thinking about what he could do different on the strategy and he chose right. We were half a second quicker on full tanks on the fifth lap.”
The victory gave Luhr a share of the record for the most wins in ALMS history. He now has 42 – sharing that mark with Risi Ferrari driver Olivier Beretta.
Dyson Racing had a disastrous day with Chris Dyson tagging the wall at the end of the back straight forcing him out the race.
ESM Racing scored its first 1-2 in ALMS competition and its first P2 win with Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo taking their HPD machine to victory lane.
BMW’s new Z4 GT car had a banner day by taking a 1-2 finish in GT. Bill Auberlen fought back after his co-driver Maxine Martin ran up the escape road at the end of the main straight. The Redondo Beach local Auberlen eventually found a way past the Viper of Dominik Farnbacher to grab the lead and he was followed soon after by Dirk Muller.