Saturday, August 6, 2011

Luhr & Graf Splash to Mid Ohio American LeMans Series Win - Dixon Takes Indycar Pole

The Muscle Milk Aston Martin took the 2011 Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge
Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf hung on in what turned out to be deplorable conditions at Mid Ohio this afternoon to take the LMP1 class and overall win for Aston Martin. On a day that started out sunny, hot and humid, a light drizzle started with about 40 minutes left in the race which was scheduled for 2 hours and 45 minutes. The track got wet, most teams came in to change to grooved rain tires, and then chaos ensued. The Rizi Ferrari got involved in a tussle on a damp restart and crashed out. As the field circulated, the rain became more insistent until it was an absolute deluge and the race had to be red flagged with about 10 minutes left in the scheduled distance. Graf & Luhr managed to keep their Muscle Milk car out front despite crawling around behind the pace car at about 40 miles per hour, as the Dyson Racing Mazda had two late spins and several other cars slid off course in the final minutes before the red flag.

Dyson still managed to finish second on the day but the GT class became a complete jumble as the Falken Tire team led by Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers catapulted to the class win after all the late race spins experienced by others during the blinding rainstorm which ended the event. The Dyson and Muscle Milk teams had a spirited battle for LMP1 honors most of the race, while the GT class had several different contenders including the Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen who finished second in GT, followed by the BMW of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner.

Scott Dixon works through the Carousel on his was to pole position
The Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge drew a large Saturday crowd to the track, as the ALMS race followed the final IZOD Indycar series qualifying session for Sunday's 200 mile race. Scott Dixon took pole position and his teammate Dario Franchitti will occupy the front row. The Fast Six qualifying was highly competitive down to the last seconds but it looked pretty clear to me that Dixon had the bit between his teeth the whole time and was not going to be denied. This race could go a long way towards deciding this year's Indycar season title. Let's hope the weather is a little more cooperative. Back soon with more - until then, here's a slideshow from today's wild and action packed American LeMans Series race.

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