Michelin muscles to Mosport wins
Just one week after suffering a heart-breaking loss just two turns away from victory at Road America, the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder experienced true racing love as Romain Dumas and Klaus Graf scored the team’s second victory to claim a convincing victory in the Grand Prix of Mosport.
It was a perfect weekend for the team as they led all three practice sessions, won the pole, and built a nearly one lap lead while leading every lap on one of the fastest, most challenging tracks in North America. Graf and mega–substitute Dumas, filling in for the injured Greg Pickett, had the magic combination here at the eighth stop of the 2010 American Le Mans Series season.
“The car was just really good all week,” said Graf. “We got out of the box well and we never felt we had a safe gap over the competition. Our team and Michelin just kept working together and improving the car and we were fastest every session and had a great combination for the race. I couldn’t be happier,” said Graf. Celebrating David Brabham’s 100th career ALMS start and finishing second in the specially-numbered No. 100 Highcroft HPD were Brabham and Simon Pagenaud.
Michelin technical partner teams claimed 1-2 both overall and in the GT category. Michelin cars claimed 10 of the top 12 spots in the two hour, 45-minute race that was shortened by 28 minutes due to guard rail damage requiring lengthy repairs.
“Mosport is an especially challenging track and it is very satisfying for the Michelin engineers, tire developers and support team to see our Michelin technical partner teams perform so well here,” said Silvia Mammone, manager motorsports, Michelin North America.
In the hypercompetitive GT category, the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche driven by Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long scored the team’s fourth victory of the season on a hilly circuit that is especially difficult for their rear engine Porsche.
“This was a very hard race, but our Flying Lizards team and Michelin worked really hard all week and we ended up with a very good balance on the car,” said Long.
Finishing a stirring run to second place was the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari driven by Gianmaria (Gimmi) Bruni and Toni Vilander. After winning the pole on Saturday, the car was sent to the rear of the field for the start of the race due to Vilander substituting for the ailing Jaime Melo.
Vilander then blazed from his 27th overall starting position and 12th in class to third place in GT, merely 0.950 seconds off the leader in just 52 minutes without the benefit of a yellow flag.
In the LMP Challenge class with identical Chevrolet-powered Oreca chassis which exclusively use Michelin “non- confidential” customer tires, Gunnar Jeannette and Elton Julian in the Green Earth Team Gunnar scored the team’s fourth victory of the season.
Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut in the Level 5 Motorsports’ No. 55 finished second followed by Genoa Racing’s Frankie Montecalvo and Christian Zugel.