Closest finish in series history

August 18, 2012

Closest finish in series history

August 18, 2012

For the third year in a row, American Le Mans Series fans have enjoyed stunning last corner finishes at Road America – this year’s Road Race Showcase took that excitement to a whole new level.

Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith and Chris Dyson took the victory after Smith was able to outsprint Muscle Milk Racing’s Lucas Luhr to the finish line.

The Muscle Milk squad had fought back from water leak problem at the first pit stop which put them four laps down early in the event.

Luhr and teammate Klaus Graf charged their way back onto the lead lap before Luhr threw his HPD prototype up the inside of Smith at the final corner.

The German made it through into the lead, but Smith fought back to draft behind Luhr and use the straight line speed advantage of the turbo-charged Mazda engine to pull out to grab the win at the finish line in the closest finish in series history.

Graf held off Smith last year to win by .112 of a second. This year was even closer – a mere .083 of a second separated the two at the finish line.

“It was too close for comfort – last year was pretty close I neve expected anyone would beat that,” Smith said.

“Chris did a great job the way he got through traffic from the back of the grid – just got his way up to the front and when Muscle Milk had their problem and we had the lead and once you are leading you are in a postion where when there is a yellow, you canot pit you hate to stay out.

“At the final corner Lucas was all over me. Do I defend or do I not – I thought I had it covered and to be fair  he made a really good move and he just came off the brakes and rolled past me and was disappointed in myself but at the same time, I knew the way he passed me if I sling shoted and overslowed the car and got back inside I would be able to sling shot past him and it was a great race.”

This was the third year in a row that Muscle Milk had played a role in heartbreaking finishes at Road American. In 2010, Graf and Timo Bernhard lost out to Drayson Racing’s Jonny Cocker and Paul Drayson when Cocker passed Graf at the final corner to take his first ALMS victory.

Michael Marsal, Eric Lux and Tony Burgess took third overall in the second Dyson Racing entry.

Other class wins today went to Martin Plowman and David Hanneimeir Hanson for Conquest Racing in P2 and Bill Auberlen and Joerg Mueller in GT.

CORE autosport clinched back-to-back PC class championships when they finished 1-2 today. Tom Kimber-Smith scored his first ever ALMS victory teamed with PC championship leader Alex Popow.

Team owner John Bennett and young gun Colin Braun finished second.

Michelin Alley talked with the Muscle Milk squad after their heartbreaking finish.

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