Muscle Milk AMR bounces back to pole position at Mosport

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Muscle Milk team came back from a practice crash to capture its second Mosport International Raceway pole position today ahead of Sunday's Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport.

Klaus Graf, who scored his first American Le Mans Series pole position at Mosport in 2010, repeated the feat after crashing in the morning practice session and causing damage to his Aston Martin LMP1 car.

While the damage to the right side bodywork and right rear suspension wasn't too serious, the crew still had a lot of work ahead of them to get the car back together and on track in time to take part in Practice 2 that afternoon.

The Muscle Milk team once again did an amazing job getting the Aston Martin back on track with 14 minutes to go in practice. Graf initially rewarded them by posting the fastest time in practice and again by grabbing pole position over an hour later.

The German immediately jumped to provisional pole with his first flying lap and stayed there for the entire session. Graf went on to improve his lap time on his second lap and registered his fastest time on his third with a lap of one minute 8.679 seconds.

While it was a belated birthday gift to himself and teammate Lucas Luhr, today's pole position by Graf was one of the best gifts crewman Travis Lewis could ask for, especially after spending part of his birthday repairing the car. Lewis, along with Graf, Lucas Luhr and crewman Bill Rader are all celebrating birthdays this week while at Mosport International Raceway.

The Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team will be back on track Sunday morning for a final 20-minute warm-up at 10:00 a.m. ET. Round 4 of the American Le Mans Series' 2011 season will go green at 3:05 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 24. The race will be broadcast on tape delay that same day on ESPN2 from 10:00 p.m. to midnight ET.

Klaus Graf, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"Well, my day was very exciting. (About the crash) I came out of Turn 9 and I slid across the concrete a little bit too much. You always slide there a bit but this time it was too much. I corrected and the car gripped right away and at that moment I ended up having overcorrected because the car got crooked again and it shot me off to the right side and in that area there's very little run off and I couldn't avoid crashing into the tire wall.
"Luckily there was no structural damage to the Aston Martin, just bodywork and the right rear suspension. It wasn't actually too bad. The Muscle Milk crew did an awesome job putting the car back together for the second session and qualifying.
"I like Mosport a lot and you have to obviously stay within your lines here to be successful and have a good set up because this place is daunting. It can bite you very quickly as we saw so to get the pole after this morning, it's very rewarding for the entire team.
"And to top it all off, Mark (Bullitt) came in third in the GT3 race which we were all very proud and happy about and then to get the pole position for the Muscle Milk Aston Martin it makes for a lot of excitement in one day."

Lucas Luhr, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"I always said Mosport is one of the tracks which separates the men from the boys because it is so quick here. What happened to Klaus this morning, he didn't really make a mistake he just slightly slid and because it's so quick here with little runoff he hit the barrier. On every other racetrack he would get away with it and end up in the gravel or run wide but there's just not enough room for that here.
"We have to say a big, big thank you to the Muscle Milk boys because they did a great job to put the car back together for Practice 2 and Klaus drove really well in qualifying.
"It's the first time for us this year on pole. Finally, we beat the others for the pole position so I'm really happy and I really look forward to the race tomorrow."
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