Muscle Milk Off To Quick Start in Sebring Winter Test
Defending American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n P1 champion Muscle Milk Pickett Racing got its 2013 season off to a fast start on the first day of the two-day Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway.
Lucas Luhr posted the day’s quickest time in the afternoon session with a lap at 1:47.414 (125.347 mph) in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Honda Performance Development ARX-03c. Luhr will once again share the ride with Klaus Graf for the 2013 campaign.
“It’s been quite a long winter and offseason,” said Luhr. “The last time I was in the car was just before Christmas, but I was looking forward to coming back here and get away from the cold European weather, ice and snow. It’s been quite a productive day for us. Sebring is always very tough to compare lap times, this year versus last year and so on.
“I’ve been coming here since 2000, so when you come back for the race, everything is different anyhow. We just want to go through our programs. We still have a lot to learn with our new package and a lot of things we want to try. Overall, I’m quite happy. It was a productive day and we went quicker than last year in qualifying, and it’s just a bonus.”
The No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 was quickest on the day in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class with a lap at 1:55.831 (116.238 mph) in the morning session. The car is being co-driven at the test by Kyle Marcelli, Chris Cumming and Stefan Johansson.
Preparing for a full-time return to ALMS competition this season, Risi Competizione was quickest in GT on Thursday. The No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia shared by Olivier Beretta and series newcomer Matteo Malucelli turned in a best time 2:01.645 (110.683 mph) during the afternoon session.
“It’s great to have Risi back and another Ferrari in the championship,” said Beretta, who has won at Sebring with Viper and Corvette. “Most people would think that Sebring is an endurance race – that we would time to make up mistakes. But it is a sprint race from the first lap to the end. We have seen in many years that cars in the GT class finish the race on the same lap and a lot of times together. Everyone wants to win this race and is prepared.”
Late in the afternoon session, the No. 66 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup shared by Ben Keating, Damien Faulkner and Craig Stanton turned in the best GTC lap of 2:06.514 (106.423 mph).
Thursday’s test sessions were run without significant incident. Testing resumes on Friday at 8 a.m. ET and runs through 5 p.m. ET.