Luhr, Graf Drive Race For The Ages
LAKEVILLE, Conn. — Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf had plenty of “musclke” to take the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series event at Lime Rock on Saturday, driving the Muscle Milk Honda HPD ARX-03a to victory.
Polesitter Chris Dyson led the first six laps, and once Luhr got by Dyson’s Lola B12/60, it looked like he would sail away. But when Luhr pitted for fuel and to turn over to Graf, they encountered a shifting problem, going down four laps, exacerbated by a stop/go penalty for speeding on pit lane. But Graf ran down and passed Guy Smith, who had replaced Dyson in the Mazda Lola, and took the class lead in P1. At this point, Christophe Bouchut ( Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-3b, a P2 car,) took the overall lead for ten laps. But Luhr took the overall lead again on lap 143, and held on until the end. The race finished under yellow, when the cautioin flew at lap 163. The race, a timed event, covered 168 laps on the 1.474-mile Lime Rock circuit in the 2 ¾-hour timed event.
Bouchut and his partner Scott Tucker took the P2 class win, after starting at the back of the field for a penalty—the driver failed to meet minimum qualifying time. They were followed by Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier (Morgan), with the team of Patrick Demsey and Joe Foster third (Lola B12/87), in only their second start in the series.
The always competitive GT class saw Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long take their first victory of the year. The Flying Lizards Porsche 911 GT3 RSR has now won six of the last seven GT titles at Lime Rock. The pair was followed to the line by a pair of Compuware Corvette Racing machines, with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia ahead of the similar equip of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
The GTC class, for identical Porsche 911 GTS Cup cars, went to Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen, follwed by Peter LeSaffre and Anthony Lazzaro.
The Prototype Challenge class, for identical Oreca FLM09 machines, went to Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett, and a fine fifth overall.