Cytosport back in LMP1
Team Cytosport is returning to the American Le Mans Series this weekend at Mid-Ohio for the Acura Sports Car Challenge. The Benicia, Calif., -based team made its Series debut in April at Long Beach and has tested since then to prepare itself for the rest of 2007.
Klaus Graf and team owner Greg Pickett shook down Cytosport’s AER-powered Lola B06/10 on Monday at Putnam Park near Indianapolis, a session that proved successful according to team manager Jim Dunford.
“We ended up running until 8:00 pm to really get a feel for running into dusk conditions and seeing what affect the cooling track temps had on grip and tire wear,” Dunford said. “Tire testing was conducted to see how the car reacted with various compounds and much data was gathered. We are pleased with the performance of the Dunlop tires and are getting the balance of the car closer and closer with every test.”
Cytosport’s Lola, which will compete for the balance of the season with the exception of Mosport, is one fielded by Dyson Racing last year in the American Le Mans Series. Its 2007 debut at Long Beach started well with a third-place P1 effort in the weekend’s first practice session before a punctured tire sent Graf into the wall during qualifying. After discovering a cracked bellhousing, the team withdrew the car before the race.
Multiple test sessions, including ones at Putnam Park and Infineon Raceway earlier in the summer, have provided a spark heading into Mid-Ohio. It will be a return that both the team and Series fans have been awaiting.
“All in all, Infineon was an energizing day in which we continued to learn and grow,” Dunford said. “We were able to demonstrate our ability to rebuild a damaged car and come right back with a lot of fight - right out of the box.
“Our lap times at Putman Park were encouraging, considering a prominent Champ Car team had just tested there and we knew (relatively) from that where we should be,” he added. “It was a very beneficial test for both Greg and Klaus, with Greg running within a second of Klaus’ best time.”
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge, scheduled for 3:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio’s Sports Nation Channel and American Le Mans Radio via americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring. CBS Sports will broadcast the race from 2 to 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.