Indianapolis Motor Speedway
24 Hour Le Mans
Birthday Boys Celebrate in Canada
The HPD-powered Muscle Milk Pickett Racing duo of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr continued its winning ways Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, taking its fourth consecutive American Le Mans Series overall and LMP1 victory of 2012, on a weekend when both drivers also celebrated birthdays.
After starting from the pole, Luhr took a lead the team would not relinquish in his HPD ARX-03a when outside front-row starter Chris Dyson was penalized for jumping the green flag. Once in front, Luhr and Graf were never headed, leading by nearly two laps until a penalty for having too many men over the wall on a pit stop, followed by a late-race caution period, reduced their advantage to just over 10 seconds at the finish.
The win was the third for the team at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, formerly known as Mosport International Raceway, and the fourth consecutive this season for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, continuing a winning streak that began in April at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. It came on a weekend during which Graf celebrated his 43rd birthday by claiming the pole on Saturday, while Luhr overcame pain from an ankle injury, sustained in a fall on Saturday, to mark his 33rd birthday in Victory Circle on Sunday.
In LMP2, the long winning streak of Level 5 Motorsports came to an end, after a late-race penalty dropped the HPD ARX-03b of Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker to second behind the Conquest Racing machine of David Heinemeier Hansson and Martin Plowman.Prior to the penalty, called when Bouchut was judged to have crossed the pit exit line as he challenged for the lead during the final five minutes, the LMP2 battle was a highlight of the three-and-a-half hour contest. The two rivals exchanged the class lead several times and, when the green flag waved for the final time with 12 minutes to go after a full-course caution period, Plowman held a narrow lead for Conquest over Bouchut in the Level 5 HPD.
The turning point came when Bouchut crossed over the yellow line separating the pit lane exit from the racing surface, resulting in a stop-and-go penalty that determined the outcome.
Midway through the 10-race 2012 season, HPD and its partner teams and drivers continue to lead their respective championships. In LMP1, Graf and Luhr hold a 12-point lead over the Dyson Racing duo of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith; while