Jul 6, 2013, 8:32 PM EDT
Lucas Luhr (pictured, right) and Klaus Graf (left) of Muscle Milk Pickett Racing cruised to a six-lap victory in the American Le Mans Series’ Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, taking advantage of a critical pit road error by their rivals from Dyson Racing.
Luhr, in the Muscle Milk No. 6 HPD machine, and Chris Dyson, in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola, swapped the lead several times in the race’s first hour before pitting together with one hour and 47 minutes remaining. But while Luhr had a routine stop, the Dyson camp had a disastrous one, losing a lap and a half; Guy Smith relieved Dyson in the cockpit but had issues tightening the safety belts.
The overall and P1 category battle effectively ended there as Luhr held the point until making way for Graf with 45 minutes remaining. But if the Pickett-Dyson fight ended with a whimper, the ending to the race in the P2 class made up for it.
Ryan Briscoe, who will race in tomorrow’s Pocono IndyCar 400 for Panther Racing, was running second in the No. 551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD machine behind the class-leading No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD of Guy Cosmo. But with less than four minutes remaining, Briscoe made contact with Cosmo that sent the latter spinning.
The incident went under review, but the ALMS later tweeted a list of race winners that had Briscoe and Scott Tucker’s No. 551 listed as the victors in P2. Briscoe called the matter “a shame” in post-race interviews and was apologetic toward Cosmo, who was understandably upset.
“Apparently, Briscoe thinks we’re in NASCAR and we’re just gonna ram each other down the straights,” Cosmo told ESPN. “…Yeah, he got a better run than me coming out of [Turn] 5 but he just rammed into the back of me thinking he’d just knock me out of his way – which he did.”
A tight duel in GT wound up going to the No. 56 BMW Team RLL squad of John Edwards and Dirk Muller, who held off Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Chevy Corvette by less than a second for the class win. Also triumphant at Lime Rock were Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende (No. 9 RSR Racing Oreca) in the Prototype Challenge category and Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache Jr. (No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3) in the GTC category.