Graf And Luhr Muscle Their Way To An ALMS Win At Long Beach

Long Beach, Calif. – Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr drove off to their third consecutive Tequila Patron American LeMans Series victory on the street course at Long Beach late Saturday afternoon. The winning duo finished 36 second ahead of the runner-up in the two-hour race, the second of the season for the ALMS.

The winners drove the Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a.

Luhr recorded his 42nd ALMS class win and Graf won for the 15th time.

Said Graf about his ride, “It was an important win for us, as it is our sponsor’s home state. We wanted to make it three in a row, and we did it. It was a tough race for us, but we had the right strategy. On the restarts, I tried to pull away to a gap but you never quite know what will happen in traffic. You had to be patient and aggressive at the same time in traffic. Once we built up a lead, we were in control.”

Luhr said, “I had a relatively short stint, but we stuck to the plan early-on. We made an early driver change, and I had gotten around Chris Dyson on the second lap. I had to save fuel as much as I can, and when Klaus took over, it went by our plan.”

The P2 class winner was the Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b duo of Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo. This marked the team’s first P2 victory after moving up from the GT class this year.

Said Sharp about the win, “This is huge. I don’t think we thought we could win this early. The team did a great job and it all came together for us. The team did well in last two months to get us to this point. If there’s one race you want to win, it is the one your sponsor is involved in. It is a big win for us.”

In the highly competitive GT class, Bill Auberlen powered around a Viper to pull off the victory for the BMW Team RLL operation. The winning pair, to include Maxime Martin of Belgium, drove the new BMW Z4 GTE.

Auberlen took his fifth class win and Martin won in his debut race.

“Being from Redondo Beach, I knew what a big deal this race was even thought I had

never won it. I had footprints on that podium for finishing second and third, but we finally did it. Maxime (Martin) made a mistake, and we changed our strategy and it worked. There will be a great party tonight.”

Said Martin, “It was my first series start, and I made a little mistake at the start of the race but we had a great strategy.”

Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett drove their PC class Oreca to victory.

In GTC action, Sean Edwards and Henrique Cisneros drove a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to a win.

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