Muscle Milk AMR: Wanting more at Lime Rock Park

Saturday, July 09, 2011

After leading both practice sessions throughout the day, Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing was looking for something other than a third place on the grid for Saturday's American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix.

The defending race winners sat atop the charts in the dry morning practice and again during the afternoon practice which took place in wet but drying conditions.

However, the team did find themselves at somewhat of a disadvantage heading into qualifying. Klaus Graf who was entered as the qualifying driver had only one lap in dry conditions on Michelin slicks heading into the 15-minute qualifying session.

Lucas Luhr had spent most of the morning practice session in the car, with Graf getting in near the end. However a red flag ended the practice prematurely and practice 2 took place in wet conditions thus only allowing Graf one-lap in the dry.

Despite the drawback, Graf still managed to put in the team's fastest lap times of the day during qualifying and stayed close to championship rivals Dyson Racing. While Klaus did make it to second at one point in the session, his fastest lap of 46.040 seconds placed him third for the start of tomorrow's race.

The Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team will be back on track Saturday morning at 9:55 a.m. for a 20-minute warm up before taking the green flag at 2:05 p.m. for Round 3 of the American Le Mans Series.

The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will be streamed live on starting at 1:50 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on tape delay on ESPN2 Sunday, July 10 starting at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Klaus Graf,

“It wasn’t quite what we were looking for today. At the end of the day, I didn’t really get any running in the dry so the weather did play its part today. But obviously the weather is the same for everybody.

“We’ll have a good look at the data tonight and make some changes. We have a warm up in the morning to fine-tune the car. I’m confident the guys will get it right. It’s just that we usually unload with a pretty good package, but this time it was a little harder. But then it’s also when you have to pull together as a team and try to get the best out of it.

“I’m actually a little surprised that we were that close to the other cars so it gives me a lot of confidence for the race because I know we will get the car better and we should be in good shape.”

Lucas Luhr,

“It’s a different challenge coming here after racing at Le Mans and the Nürburgring. It’s a small circuit with lots of traffic, but it’s still a lot of fun. I always enjoy coming back with the Muscle Milk team and driving with Klaus, it’s good fun. With the whole team you really feel at home when you come back here to race with these guys.

“Regarding the qualifying, I think Klaus got the maximum possible out of the car. He didn’t get a lot of running in this morning because of a red flag so we were unfortunate there and he struggled with front grip. But I know the car has a lot potential and that the boys will get it right for tomorrow. We still have the warm up in the morning to tune the car.

“For me, it’s not that important how good the car is, the most important thing is how you get through the traffic here. If you see how many cars are on the track, every two seconds you will be overtaking a GT car so you will make up most of the time if you manage traffic easily. In the morning practice the car was really good in traffic, we still can improve a bit on that and that’s what we’re going to do.”
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