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Local Sports

Muscle Milk ready for Ohio

Highlands Today Highlands Today sports staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 11, 2013 at 07:46 PM

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing is carrying plenty of momentum into the American Le Mans Series round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for Round 6 of the 2012 season.

The team, led by drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr, has won the last four races and are heading into the weekend as the defending winners of a race that ended in a torrential downpour last season.

The pair of German drivers are looking forward to taking their Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a onto what is described as a technical, 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course for the first time, in what will be the team's fifth visit at the Ohio circuit.

"I always look forward to the Mid-Ohio race," Graf said. "The track is very technical and a good set up on our Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a is crucial. We'll use every session to make sure we have a good race car again."

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's best finish at Mid-Ohio came with their win last season from second on the grid, which was also their best starting position at the event that also hosts the INDYCAR series on the same weekend.

"Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks in the United States, it has a very good flow to it," Luhr said. "With the INDYCAR Series there on the same weekend there is always a very good crowd and it's a great place to race.

"I'm looking forward to it with our Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a because there are some good downforce corners like turn 1, it should be fun."

The team enters the ALMS race at Mid-Ohio with a 12-point championship lead on their P1 rivals Dyson Racing. With three Michelin Green X Challenge wins this season, Pickett Racing also leads the 'green racing' standings for clean, fast and efficient racing.

"We won the race last year in torrential rain, but for this year I hope we have a good clean race with good weather so the sports car fans can enjoy the beautiful grassy hills," Graf said. "Our Michelin tires should also fit perfectly to the surface changes we have to deal with at Mid-Ohio, so I feel very confident heading into the weekend."

Following the team's win at Mosport two weekends ago, Luhr now sits alone in second place in the all-time win standings with 39, only three behind leader Olivier Beretta.

 "We did win there last year and our target, once again this weekend, is to open the gap in the championship even more and to have a perfect race," Luhr said. "It may be difficult to understand for some because we won the last races but there are always a few things that can be better."    

Luhr and Graf, along with their Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team, will be on track starting Thursday for the promoter test session ahead of Friday's practice and qualifying.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge goes green at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and will be broadcast on ABC featuring live coverage from 2:00 p.m. (863) 386-5841