Luhr & Graf Continue Winning Ways
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf rolled to their fifth consecutive American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón victory on Sunday at Road America, holding on after a strong challenge by the revolutionary DeltaWing LM12 in its best showing to date.
The race featured a pair of ALMS milestones. The DeltaWing led for the first time – leading twice for 16 laps – while the SRT Viper took its first factory-backed victory since New Year’s Eve in 2000 when Dominick Farnbacher and Marc Goossens won a tight GT battle in the No. 91 Viper GTS-R. It was the 17th factory-backed victory for Viper.
Katherine Legge put the No. 0 DeltaWing LM12 into the overall lead on lap 20, and then paced eight laps before giving way to Luhr’s No. 6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c. Co-driver Andy Meyrick regained the lead during pit stops, and also led eight laps before being passed by Graf in the Canada Corner with 51 minutes remaining. Legge and Meyrick took third in class and placed fifth overall – running at the finish for the first time this season.
“Every time we go out, the car is more reliable,” said Legge, recorded her best finish in four races with the team. “Today we’re starting to show how revolutionary this car can be, and we really showed the excellence of what the DeltaWing is all about.”
Goossens beat Corvette Racing driver Antonio Garcia on the inside entering Turn 5 with 34 minutes remaining, and led the rest of the way to score his first career ALMS victory – and fifth for starting driver Dominick Farnbacher – in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R.
“Man, it was a great race,” Goossens said. “We gambled a little bit on the fuel. We had to save fuel, but we had to push as well. There is no secret the last [caution period] helped, we were very low to save the least.”
Luhr extended his ALMS-leading total to 46 victories, while Graf won for the 19th time.
Luhr led from the drop of the green flag until his first pit stop 19 laps later, but admitted to struggling on the slick circuit. The race began in drying conditions following late-morning rain, resulting in teams beginning the race on intermediate rain tires and gradually switching to slick tires as the track dried.
“I don’t remember the last time we drove in the rain, and it was tricky in the beginning because no one drove here this weekend in the wet,” Luhr said. “As the track got better and better, it was in our favor. At the end of the day, it was a good day for us.”
Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry finished second overall in Dyson Racing’s No. 16 Mazda/Thetford/Norcold Lola B12/60 as the race ended under caution when Jan Heylen tagged the wall in turn one in the No. 11 Hertz Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the closing minutes.