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GRAF + LUHR WIN THIRD STRAIGHT LBC ALMS RACE
Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won for the third straight year at Long Beach as Muscle Milk Pickett Racing cruised to its first victory of the season in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday. Graf, fueled by VP Racing Fuels, beat Rebellion Racing’s Nick Heidfeld by 36.329 seconds in the P1 class of the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.
Luhr started the race third in class and dropped to mid-pack during a caution-filled middle of the race. But it was all planned. The team made its one driver change during a stop 25 minutes in, and Graf battled back through the field to take the overall lead for good with 47 minutes remaining in the No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.
The two lead cars pitted for the final time with an hour to go. Heidfeld replaced Neel Jani in the Rebellion Lola-Toyota, which also took fuel. Meanwhile Graf took just fuel and left the pitlane well before Heidfeld. That proved the difference.
“We've definitely had 100 percent the right strategy,” Graf said. “The way the race unfolded, it was perfect. The guys did an awesome job in the pits - no mistakes. The Michelin street soft tires ran excellent - we ran the entire race on just one set. It was such a great weekend, and I am so proud of everybody.”
The victory moved Luhr into a tie for ALMS career victories (42), a mark he shares with Olivier Beretta.
“Sometimes, endurance racing is like this,” Luhr said. “Sometimes you have the busier day, and sometimes you have the easy day. With us two, it doesn't really matter. I can trust Klaus, and I hope he can trust me. You have to do, what you have to do to win. As a team we understand that. Of course I would have loved to drive more, but at that time you put your ego or your selfishness back a bit, and look at the big picture to do what it takes to win the race. If you have a problem with that attitude, you're in the wrong business.”
Posted by VP RACE FOOL on 21st April, 2013 | Comments | Trackbacks
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