American Le Mans Series

Muscle Milk Wins But Battles Stronger Further Down The Field

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Graf and Luhr notched up anoterh ALMS victory (Credit: Kelsi Nilsson)

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing have stormed to another victory at the Canadian Tires Motorsport Park but the action was found mainly down the field.

Indeed Muscle Milk had some challenge early on from the Deltawing seemingly flying along with a new burst of power keeping the HPD under some pressure. However, 25 minutes in the Elan engined Deltawing seemingly slowed in the hands of Andy Meyrick and eventually went behind the wall with oil pressure alarms sounding in the cockpit.

The Dyson Lola-Mazda, now in the hands of Tony Burgess and Chris McMurray, was never much competition for Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf – the Lola at points was being hassled by Mike Conway in the Level 5 LMP2 car. The one incident of note for the #16  was Burgess overshooting the pit box in their first stop – the Toronto native having to complete another lap before coming back in.

In LMP2 the aforementioned Mike Conway was on a flyer in his first stint in the #552 HPD but team principal Scott Tucker – switching from the sister car just before the hour to go mark – couldn’t keep up the pace with Scott Sharp in the Extreme Speed Motorsports machine or class winner Marino Franchitti and had to settle for third.

Franchitti himself was under a lot of hassle by Sharp in the closing stages of the 2 hour 45 minute race after a safety car to recover the crashed BAR1 Motorsports LMPC car which was crashed into the barriers at the end of the start/finish straight by a thankfully fine Tomy Drissi.

The strongest battle in the annual ALMS trip north of the border was in the GT class with what was a battle between two American automotive giants with Corvette and the SRT Vipers locked in a battle for much of the race. Oliver Gavin in the Corvette was eventually the class winner but Dominik Farnbacher pushed him all the way in the #91 Viper.

Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer gained another podium for the Viper in it’s full first season of competition. The sister Corvette driven over the line by Jan Magnussen was fourth crossing the line only half a second ahead of the BMW Z4 GTE of Dirk Müller and Joey Hand.

The other BMW finished behind driven by Bill Auberlen in a decent result for BMW Team RLL – one marque that didn’t have a good showing at Mosport was Porsche – the Core Autosport, Paul Miller Racing and Team Falken Tire cars finished in the last three places of the GT field with the teams seemingly unable to get a handle on the German machine. That however, didn’t stop Falken driver Wolf Henzler from putting up a stern defence of hard charging Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette – eventually the German’s defence became unstuck at turn three and the 911 went backwards from that point onwards.

Compared with Lime Rock Park the LMPC field was pretty much quiet apart from the accident with Tomy Drissi, but it was a strong victory for Core Autosport – in complete contrast to their GT entry Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett commanded a 25 second victory over Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande in the #81 DragonSpeed Mishumotors car.

Going onto GTC and it was a lights to flag victory for the #22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing machine piloted by Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper MacNeil, they were pushed all the way by Spencer Pumpelly  and Nelson Canache Jr. racing for Flying Lizards. Third was TRG with Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow.

The next ALMS race is at Road America for the Road Race Showcase on August 8-11.

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