Graf sets pace in opening ALMS practice
Klaus Graf set the fastest time Friday morning in the first official practice for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America – the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The German turned a lap of 1:54.134 (127.681 mph) in Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing’s Lola-Aston Martin coupe that he will drive with Lucas Luhr.
The Muscle Milk squad is hoping for a bit of redemption after losing last year’s race two turns from the checkered flag. Friday, Graf went 1.212 seconds quicker than Steven Kane in Oryx Dyson Racing’s Lola-Mazda coupe. Guy Smith, quickest in Thursday’s test session, was third Friday at 1:57.241 (124.298 mph) in the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda he will drive with Chris Dyson.
In GT, Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin set the pace at 2:06.422 (115.271 mph) in the Corvette C6.R that he drives with Jan Magnussen. This is a special weekend at Road America for America’s sports car with the Corvette World Tribute, celebrating 100 years of Chevrolet, will take place Sunday at the track and includes the dedication of the Corvette Bridge at Turn 6.
Jörg Bergmeister was second at 2:07.189 (114.576 mph) in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that he will drive with Patrick Long. The pairing won in class at the track in 2005 and 2006 driving Porsches. Risi Competizione’s Toni Vilander, quickest in class Thursday, was third fastest Friday at 2:07.429 (114.360 mph); he will drive the team’s Ferrari F458 Italia with Jaime Melo.
Luis Diaz was the fastest LMP2 driver in Level 5 Motorsports’ Lola-Honda. He set a time of 1:59.364 (122.087 mph) in the entry that he will share with Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut.
CORE autosport sat 1-2 in LMP Challenge, led by Jon Bennett’s lap of 2:01.797 (119.648 mph) in the ORECA FLM09 that he will drive with Frankie Montecalvo. Gunnar Jeannette was second in class at 2:02.005 (119.444 mph) in the sister car – just 0.029 seconds ahead of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Butch Leitzinger.
Jeroen Bleekemolen was fastest in GT Challenge for Black Swan Racing at 2:13.648 (109.039 mph) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that he will drive with class championship leader Tim Pappas. NGT Motorsports’ Sean Edwards was next, only 0.459 seconds behind. Jaap van Lagen was third fastest for Green Hornet Racing at 2:14.952 (107.985 mph).