Muscle Milk AMR: An early end to a successful season

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Muscle Milk team saw what has been its winningest season in the American Le Mans Series come to an early end on Saturday during the running of the 2011 Petit Le Mans.

The team encountered engine problems on its Aston Martin Racing car on lap 64 just over one hour and 45 minutes into the race and had to call it quits shortly thereafter.

At the time, Klaus Graf was running in fourth place and things were looking up for the Pickett Racing crew, but sadly, as has been its luck these last few races, it just didn't go the way they had hoped.

However, the highlight of the day for the team was that team owner Greg Pickett enjoyed what will probably be his final race laps in a P1 car, jumping out with a huge smile on his face, having finished an impressive stint in sixth place overall ahead of two Peugeots and an Audi, after having started the race in 11th.

Despite the final result, the Muscle Milk team still finishes second in the team standings and second and third in the Driver Championship with Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr.

Over the course of the season, the Greg Pickett-led team scored a class - and team - high four wins along with a second place finish.

To show their appreciation to their fans, the Muscle Milk team would have liked to offer them a better end to the season, but as a big thank you to all of their incredible supporters, the team promises to come back with a vengeance next season.

Greg Pickett, team owner/co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"This will likely be my last drive in a P1 car, I'll probably test and play around but I think it's time for me to get out when the getting is good. I very much enjoyed my session. When I can start my race like this, with such this deep of a field and bring the car in after my stint in sixth place overall, obviously makes me very, very happy. I enjoyed it immensely.
"The car was great for me but then Klaus went out and we had to retire it from P4 and now we see these other cars having trouble, with everybody falling aside but that's what goes on here at a long race.
"We had changed everything on the car, as far as the transmission, the differential, the brakes - even though the Championship had been decided and my congratulations to the Dysons - we had kept putting the best stuff that we knew how to put on this car and so, the only thing that we don't do is build the engines.
"We're not going to feel terrible about this year. We won four races, so I consider that a successful year. I think the driver combination of Klaus and Lucas was great, we had a great spirit within the team, we kept a smile on our face through thick and thin and I'm just very appreciative of our fans, and of our company Muscle Milk who continues to thrive and help us to do this.

"We are going to come back next year with a vengeance. I'm saying it right now, we are running for a Championship. I haven't said that before. When we came out in 2010 against Highcroft, we wanted to get to that level and compete, maybe. This year we were in a transitional year and we wanted to see if we could do better and we did, we won more races. So now, I am saying point blank, all we are doing next year is running for a Championship and we are going to do that with everything that we can. We're bringing it next year, so everybody needs to get ready."

Klaus Graf, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"Sad ending to a strong season but it's really a shame because we had a really good car in the race and with a little bit of luck we could have been on the podium, for sure we could have been the quickest petrol car, we were the quickest petrol car by far in the race. It's too bad we couldn't finish it.
"The guys worked very hard all year and even here this weekend. We had a good car and the bright side of it is that Greg had a lot of fun today in the car and it seems it was his last P1 race and I think that's very rewarding for him. He had a big smile on his face getting out of the car and that is what we take from here.
"We didn't get a result but it's racing. We'll come back very strong next year, I'm confident about that. It was a great year and thanks to all the crew members, everybody on the team did a great job this year and I think this organization will just grow and get stronger every year."

Lucas Luhr, co-driver Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing
"I feel sad for the Muscle Milk guys because they have worked so hard all season and this week and it would have been nice to offer them a great result to end the year. They have done an incredible job and it's been great to work with them.
"Greg did a spectacular job in his stint. It's pretty amazing to see him drive. It's too bad what happened with the car, Klaus was doing a great job and we were the fastest petrol car out there.
"It was a year with highs and lows but our four wins this season are what I will remember most. I want to thank Greg and Penny (Pickett) for giving me the opportunity to be part of their team, I really enjoyed my season with them."   
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