Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr claim Long Beach American Le Mans Series victory
|By Mark Glendenning||Sunday, April 15th 2012, 03:19 GMT|
Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr took an emphatic win in Saturday's American Le Mans Series round on the Long Beach street circuit.
The Muscle Milk/Pickett Racing HPD duo, who started from second on the grid, took the lead for the final time with around 30 minutes left to run and quickly opened a gap over polesitter Chris Dyson, who was sharing his Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda with Guy Smith. The final margin of victory was 43.66 seconds.
Third outright and first of the PC class cars was the CORE Autosport ORECA shared by Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel, who finished comfortably ahead of Muscle Milk's Memo Gidley and Mike Guash.
LMP2 honours went to Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut in their Level 5 Motorsports HPD; their campaign having been helped by rivals Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier Hansson's Conquest entry being called in for a pitlane speeding penalty while sitting in the class lead after its final stop.
The P2 ranks had earlier been decimated when the Black Swan Lola of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Scott Tucker rammed a car that was rejoining the track after a spin on the second lap, prompting the team to fire a broadside at officials over the lack of yellow flags.
A tight battle for the GT win fell the way of Chevrolet duo Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, who triumphed after a long tussle with the BMW of Dirk Muller and Joey Hand. The BMW challenge had been diminished early on when the sister car of Jorg Muller and Bill Auberlen lost several laps in the pits with a leaking radiator.
Damien Faulkner and Peter LeSaffre (Green Hornet Racing) claimed the GTC class win by just 3.11s ahead of Alex Job Racing's Leh Keen and Cooper MacNell.
Results - 86 laps: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. P1 Luhr/Graf Pickett HPD 2h00m05.739s 2. P1 Dyson/Smith Dyson Lola-Mazda + 43.659s 3. PC Popow/Dalziel CORE FLM + 1 lap 4. PC Guasch/Gidley Pickett FLM + 2 laps 5. PC Bennett/Braun CORE FLM + 2 laps 6. GT Gavin/Milner Corvette + 2 laps 7. GT Hand/Muller BMW + 2 laps 8. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Extreme Speed Ferrari + 2 laps 9. GT Magnussen/Garcia Corvette + 2 laps 10. P2 Tucker/Bouchut Level 5 HPD + 3 laps 11. GT Fernandez/Turner Aston Martin + 3 laps 12. GT Henzler/Sellers Falken Porsche + 3 laps 13. GT Bergmeister/Long Flying Lizard Porsche + 3 laps 14. GT Miller/Maassen Miller Porsche + 3 laps 15. P1 Marsal/Lux Dyson Lola-Mazda + 3 laps 16. PC Marcelli/Downs Merchant FLM + 3 laps 17. P2 Plowman/Hansson Conquest Morgan-Nissan + 3 laps 18. PC Richard/Ende Dempsey FLM + 4 laps 19. P2 Tucker/Diaz Level 5 HPD + 5 laps 20. GT Neiman/Holzer Flying Lizard Porsche + 5 laps 21. GT Brown/Cosmo Extreme SpeedFerrari + 6 laps 22. PC Leitzinger/Junco PR1 FLM + 6 laps 23. GTC LeSaffre/Faulkner Green Hornet Porsche + 7 laps 24. GTC MacNeil/Keen Alex Job Porsche + 7 laps 25. GTC Cumming/Valiante JDX Porsche + 7 laps 26. GTC Sofronas/Welch GMC Porsche + 7 laps 27. GTC di Guida/Pumpelly TRG Porsche + 9 laps Retirements: GTC Faieta/Avenatti Competition Porsche 74 laps GT Muller/Auberlen BMW 71 laps PC Junqueira/Drissi RSR FLM 69 laps GT Sweedler/Bell Alex Job Lotus 57 laps PC Kovacic/Burgess Merchant FLM 35 laps P2 Pappas/Bleekemolen Black Swan Lola-HPD 1 lap