Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf cruised to their seventh consecutive American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón victory Saturday in the International Sports Car Weekend race, lapping the field twice at Circuit of The Americas.
Luhr and Graf led all the way in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c, completing 83 laps over the two-hour, 45-minute race. Luhr extended his ALMS-leading victory total to 48. The race ran start to finish under the green flag.
With the ALMS competitors racing on the sparkling 3.4-mile layout for the first time, teams had the opportunity to test on Tuesday and Thursday under warm conditions. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing opted not to test – taking to the track for the first time on a rainy Friday for practice and qualifying.
“Lucas took the lead going into the first corner, and took off from there,” Graf said. “With little to no dry running, hats off to the team and the setup. We’ve really put together an excellent package. Now we want to win the last two races – especially Petit Le Mans – and if we can give Lucas his 50th win it would be unbelievable.”Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry finished second in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Mazda/Thetford/Norcold Lola B12/60. Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick completed the P1 podium, despite falling out in the closing minutes in the debut of the coupe version of the No. 0 DeltaWing DWC-13.
Level 5 Motorsports rebounded from an early challenge by Extreme Speed Motorsports to place 1-2 in the P2 class. Scott Tucker won for the sixth time this season, co-driving with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 551 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b. Marino Franchitti and Guy Cosmo placed second in the team’s No. 552 entry, 5.279 seconds behind at the finish.
“It wasn’t very dramatic for us, which was nice for once,” said Tucker, whose 24th career victory came one race after a major disappointment at Baltimore, when a first lap accident ended his day. Unofficially, Franchitti now leads Cosmo by four points (141-137), with Tucker third with 129 points.
Kyle Marcelli and Chris Cumming scored their first Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire (PC) victory of the season in the No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports Evident Capital/MBRP Performance Exhaust Merchant Services ORECA FLM09.
“The competition is so good and so close, you have to be ready from the get-go,” said Marcelli. “This is the best of the best, and you have to bring your ‘A’ game to win races. We’ve had little mistakes in each race that cost us … this was a mistake-free race.”
Mike Guasch captured the points lead in the class after finishing second, co-driving with Dane Cameron in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Molecule ORECA FLM09. Jon Bennett took third in the No. 05 CORE autosport Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 with new co-driver Tom Kimber Smith. Unofficially, Guasch has 120 points, seven more than Bennett and eight more than Colin Braun, who moved to CORE autosport’s GT Porsche.
The next ALMS event will be at Virginia International Raceway on Oct. 5, the last race before the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 20.