Michelin shines again at sunny, hot Mid-Ohio
Muscle Milk Honda takes Fifth Consecutive Win, Corvette Edges Porsche in 1-2 GT Battle.
Michelin and its technical partner teams flexed their technical muscle once again as the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD Honda scored its fifth consecutive 2012 American Le Mans Series victory here today in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.
Muscle Milk Honda prototype drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf took the early lead and reclaimed it after their second pit stop to pull away to a decisive one-lap victory at the sixth stop of the ten-race ALMS season on a steamy, 93 degree day on the 2.258 mile circuit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in central Ohio.
Michelin also extended its GT class win streak to five consecutive races. The No. 4 Corvette Racing C6 ZR1 and co-drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin and the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche with drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long fought to delivering a tight 1-2 finish in the hyper-competitive GT class. The Corvette’s margin of victory was just 0.283 seconds.
Corvette Racing driver Oliver Gavin:
Commenting on his pass for the GT lead and eventual victory with just over one-hour remaining in the two hour 45 minute race, Gavin said, “The crew did a great job on my pit stop to get us around the No. 3 Corvette and give me the opportunity to fight with the Porsche. I could see that I was catching Joerg (Bergmeister) on his out lap after his pit stop and knew that I had to get him while I had the chance. Our tires seemed to switch on right away and so I was able to go around the outside at turn four.”
The victory was the third of the season for Milner, Gavin and the No. 4 Corvette and returns them to the top of the ALMS Championship standings heading into the next stop at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin’s Road America, August 18.
Marino Races, Wins
After waiting for a chance to drive in an actual race after months of testing, Marino Franchitti made his first actual race start a good one, as he and co-driver Rudy Junco took the 52 PR 1 Mathiasen Racing entry to victory in the PC class.
Solid Debut for SRT Vipers:
The race also marked the competition debut of the SRT Viper factory team that saw both cars finish in their debut and turn best lap times within two seconds of the race winners. Drivers Domminik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer placed ninth in GT to score the team’s first points, while Tommy Kendall and Marc Goossens placed 11th .
“The technical nature of the Mid-Ohio circuit combined with the heat and changing track conditions presented a numberof challenges to our teams,” said Silvia Mammone, manager motorsports, Michelin North America. “Seeing virtually all of the cars finish the race meant that any problems or damage from contact were very costly. We are pleased that our Michelin teams were able to run fast and consistent laps despite the heat and extend both our Prototype and GT wins streaks.”