Muscle Milk AMR: Pumped up and ready to bounce back

Friday, April 08, 2011

Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing is looking to bounce back on the streets of Long Beach next week from what was a tough season opening race a few weeks ago.

The Benicia, California-based team registered its first DNF in the American Le Mans Series at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Consequently putting the Muscle Milk squad 30 points behind in the LMP1 Championship standings.

The season is still young, and with eight more races to go, a 30-point deficit can be overcome, but it leaves the team with little room for error, and with one of its biggest challenges yet as it battles for the title.

The team has been faced with more adversity than they are use to, but it's only given them extra motivation to come back strong with its Michelin-equipped Muscle Milk Aston Martin LMP1 car at round two in Long Beach.

Partnering with Klaus Graf for the event on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit will be Lucas Luhr, who won at Long Beach during his last visit there in 2008.

Luhr will be replacing team owner Greg Pickett who gave up his seat for this race to the four-time ALMS champion. Pickett thought it was best for the team in order to give themselves the best chance to close the gap in the points standings to the first place team of Dyson Racing.

The Pickett Racing group hopes to build on its result from last season where it scored a third place finish right behind the Aston Martin prototype.

The Long Beach race is the shortest one on the schedule with a two-hour time limit and offers teams very little practice time, which adds to the challenge that is racing through the tight confines of the street circuit.

The Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team will be on track Friday, April 15 at 7:15 a.m. PT for a two-hour practice session before heading into qualifying later that afternoon. The race will go green Saturday at 4:30 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on starting at 4:15 p.m. PT.

The American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race will be broadcast on tape-delay, Sunday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Muscle Milk Quotes:

Klaus Graf, driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"Long Beach is a very different character race than our first race of the year. We go from the longest event on the schedule to the shortest one, plus we have very little track time. You have to make sure you are good right out of the box and that you run trouble free between the tight walls around the circuit. It will be important for us to have a good weekend and to score as many points as possible after collecting none at Sebring.
"I like Long Beach very much. It's a very special feeling racing there. I know I've said it many times but for me it's the American Monte Carlo. I look forward to going there every year."

Lucas Luhr, driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"Long Beach is one of the best street circuits in the US especially because of the history it has with F1 going there in the past. I won there overall in 2008 and I'm really looking forward to going back. I've had some good results in the ALMS on city circuits like Long Beach so we need to continue that, not for me personally but for the whole team, for Klaus and hopefully we can give the boys something back for the hard work they did in Sebring."

Race Facts:

American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
Streets of Long Beach, 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course, Long Beach, CA
April 15 -16, 2011 - Round #2 of 9
Race Duration: 2 hours
Live online coverage: - April 16, 2011, starting at 4:15 p.m. PT (7:15 p.m. ET)
Tape delayed broadcast: ESPN2 - April 17, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET

Schedule (All times Pacific):
Friday, April 15, 2011:
Practice: 7:15 am - 9:15 am (All Classes)
Qualifying: 5:05 pm - 5:20 pm (GT)
Qualifying: 5:20 pm - 5:35 pm (GTC)
Qualifying: 5:50 pm - 6:05 pm (LMP1/LMP2)
Qualifying: 6:05 pm - 6:20 pm (LMPC)

Saturday, April 16, 2011:
Autograph session: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Race: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm (2 hours)
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