Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing top petrol powered car in qualifying at Sebring

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team achieved what it had set out to do in Friday's qualifying session at Sebring International Raceway by being the top non-diesel car on the starting grid for Saturday's 12 Hours of Sebring.

After a heroic effort by the Muscle Milk crew on Thursday, the team continued where it had left off the night before by placing sixth in the morning practice, once again behind the Audi and Peugeot contingent.

When it returned to the track later in the afternoon for qualifying, with Klaus Graf behind the wheel of the Aston Martin LMP1, the team initially took over sixth with its first fast lap but was relegated to seventh behind the Audis, Peugeots and the HPD powered Highcroft car soon thereafter.

Never one to give up and knowing that he had the speed, Graf did one more lap of the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course and posted a lap time of one minute 49.679 seconds. His lap put him back in sixth, making the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team the best of the petrol-powered cars in the field.

The team will be back on track at 8:00 a.m. for final practice before the start of the race at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The 12 Hours of Sebring will be broadcast live in the US, in its entirety on Saturday, March 19 starting at 10:15 a.m. ET. Television coverage will be presented on ABC from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20.

Klaus Graf, qualifying driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"It was a really good run. I think we ended up in the best position possible, being the best petrol car, so I am very pleased about that. It wasn't easy out there. The track isn't at its best condition but we improved the car a lot from this morning and I think we got the maximum out of it. The guys did an awesome job and Brandon (Fry) our engineer made the right changes to the car. It's a very rewarding day from where we were yesterday. Coming out strong like this and actually being the fastest ALMS car is a big achievement with our first outing in the Muscle Milk Aston Martin.
"I think we have a good race car. For race day you have to switch your mind set around, it's about making no mistakes and going for 12 hours. Traffic is going to be mad! We saw in all the practice sessions all the red flags we had so I think it will be very difficult for some of the drivers out there, but it's all part of this race. For us it will be to keep it out of the pits and to stay clean all the way."
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