LMP – Muscle Milk Porsche and Michelin Master Mosport

August 29, 2010

LMP – Muscle Milk Porsche and Michelin Master Mosport

August 29, 2010

Romain Dumas (left) and Klaus Graf (right) won for Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche at Mosport. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Although Sunday’s eighth round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series season at Mosport did not run to its scheduled time of two hours and 45 minutes, there was no doubt the dominant team on the weekend got the win.

The Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder paced every practice session, qualified on pole, and led every lap of the 99 completed at Mosport en route to their third win of the season. Klaus Graf and Romain Dumas, the ace substitute for injured team owner and Graf’s usual co-driver Greg Pickett, had the measure of the field from the drop of the green flag.

“This car had a really balanced package,” Graf said. “It has been developed a lot over the years, it’s probably one of the best sports cars ever built. With this track you really have to work hard to find the right balance. I think we’re learning a lot more, with the Porsche engineers, and the Michelin engineers, we get closer every race. And then to bring in the factory drivers, and someone like Romain, we get even that much closer.”

Graf was in the lead when a red flag for an accident involving Luke Hines in the ORBIT/Paul Miller Racing Porsche GT3 Cup in the GTC class caused severe damage to the guardrail on the backstraight. Series and track officials worked to repair the broken sections, but it was later determined the repairs could not be completed in a reasonable amount of time. The field resumed under one more lap of yellow flag conditions and took the checkered flag with two hours, 19 minutes complete in the race.

Graf is now 16 points behind Patron Highcroft HPD’s Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham heading into the final round of the season, Petit Le Mans, in October. A maximum of 30 points are available for the winners at the 10-hour or 1,000-mile event (whichever comes first).

Brabham, celebrating his 100th ALMS start, did not end it on the top step of the podium but still finished second with Pagenaud. Pagenaud, despite the CytoSport Porsche’s pace all weekend, did a great job during the middle stint of the race to stay on the lead lap while Graf was not far behind. The result ensured a Michelin 1-2 overall.

Highcroft also took the win in the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge for prototypes, the team’s third triumph this season in the “race within a race” that measures who went the fastest, furthest and with the least environmental impact.

Delighting the local fans with third overall and in class was Tony Burgess, a Toronto native, with Johnny Mowlem in the Autocon Lola. Each were the respective best results of the season for the California-based privateer team.

Drayson Racing finished an unrepresentative fourth, though Jonny Cocker put in some sterling lap times including the fastest lap of the race.

In LMPC, Gunnar Jeannette moved into the class points lead with his fourth win this season (third in the last four races). Jeannette has shared the car with Elton Julian on each occasion. It has been a remarkable year for the Green Earth Team Gunnar car, as it is still running on its first Chevrolet engine in the Oreca FLM09 that was mounted in the car when the team first got it.

“We are up to 83.5 hours on the engine at the completion of this race,” Jeannette said. “I was happy we didn’t have to do another 29 minutes on it.”

Unofficially, Jeannette leads Scott Tucker (Level 5 Motorsports) by six points. Tucker and Christophe Bouchut finished second in the race with Genoa Racing recording its first podium since Monterey in May courtesy of young Frankie Montecalvo and Christian Zugel.

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