BENICIA, Calif. – Muscle Milk Pickett Racing completed a first step towards next season’s defense of its American Le Mans Series P1 Championship title with two days of testing at the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Monday and Tuesday of last week.
The team with drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr spent their time at the 3.427-mile track evaluating different development parts for their No. 6 Muscle Milk HPD prototype all while collecting important data that will serve them when they visit COTA for the ALMS round in September.
Part of the testing program included testing both the 2012 HPD ARX-03a and the new HPD ARX-03c components which feature bigger front wheels and tires, new front aero parts and a new front suspension.
The test was deemed successful as the Muscle Milk squad went through an aggressive test plan and learned a lot in preparation for next season.
While the drivers not only got to sample the new HPD ARX-03c, they also discovered the new Circuit of the Americas with both Graf and Luhr giving it high praise.
“The layout of the COTA track is really amazing,” expressed Graf. “The first sector from turn one to turn nine is impressive and both very challenging and technical. My favorite corner though is the triple right-hander from turn 16 to 18. When we first arrived I couldn’t believe how steep the hill up to Turn 1 is. That is a very unique corner. This track will be known for that approach to turn one
“We achieved a lot with our Muscle Milk HPD prototype,” continued Graf. “We got through all of our testing program and we collected a lot of data for next season and next year’s race at COTA.”
Lucas Luhr also shared his thoughts on the test.
“The test went well and we learned a lot, we are definitely going in the right direction. Brandon (Fry), our engineer, had a big program for this test and we covered a lot and made good progress. I liked driving the car with the new components. It has a lot of potential. There’s still some work to do but as I said, all is going in the right direction.
“The track is very nice as well. I think it is a very good track for an ALMS race.”
Graf and Luhr were not the only ones to get behind the wheel of the Muscle Milk car during the test. With the team coming out very happy with what was achieved and with everything going so well, it gave Team Owner Greg Pickett the time to give himself an early Christmas gift by getting back in the driver’s seat and trying out the new HPD ARX-03c while also getting a taste of the COTA track.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will next continue its on-track preparation at the ALMS Winter Test, which takes place Feb. 7-8 at Sebring (Fla.) Int’l Raceway.