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Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Bringing Upgraded HPD to Sebring Winter Test

By James Fish
Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 6, 2013 Last Updated: February 6, 2013
Related articles: Sports » Motorsports
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Muscle Milk Pickett Racing used its HPD ARX-03a to win the 2012 ALMS P1 championship. The team will be back with an upgraded HPD to defend the title—the car will turn its first public laps at the ALMS Sebring Winter Test Thursday. (James Fish/The Epoch Times)

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing used its HPD ARX-03a to win the 2012 ALMS P1 championship. The team will be back with an upgraded HPD to defend the title—the car will turn its first public laps at the ALMS Sebring Winter Test Thursday. (James Fish/The Epoch Times)

2013 will be the last year for the American Le Mans Series; in 2014 it will merge with the Grand Am Rolex Series.

Thus 2013 is the last chance Gregg Pickett’s Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team will have to defend the ALMS P1 championship the team captured in 2012. And the team is ready.

“We had a great season last year and we’d like nothing more than to repeat in what will be the final season of the American Le Mans Series as we know it,” Pickett said in a press release. “However, defending is probably more difficult than winning your first championship.”

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be back to defend its 2012 American Le Mans Series P1 championship, armed with the latest P1 prototype from Honda Performance Development, the HPD ARX-03c with a 3.4-liter Honda V8 power plant.

The new HPD features the wider front tires which have become de rigueur in P1,  plus revised front suspension geometry and new bodywork. The car will receive an updated version of the team’s traditional red, white, and black livery. Check back later in the week for photos of the new car.

Driving this new and improved automobile will be the championship-winning team of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr, with Romain Dumas joining in for the longer races.

Graf and Luhr have been runners-up twice with Muscle Milk before breaking through with the series championship in 2012. Graf, 43, started with Muscle Milk Pickett Racing in 2009, finishing third in the championship.

Luhr, 33, won the ALMS P2 title in 2006 in a Penske Porsche, the P1 crown in 2008 in an Audi R10, plus his title with Muscle Milk. He joined the team for one race in 2010, and returned full time for the next two seasons.

Romain Dumas, 35, joined the team as a replacement for owner Greg Pickett who was injured in a wreck at Mid-Ohio in 2010. Dumas has a pair of ALMS P2 championships to his name, in 2007 and 2008, plus a Le Mans 24 win in 2010 with Audi.

The championship-winning driving team of Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr, with Romain Dumas will return for 2013. (James Fish/The Epoch Times)

The championship-winning driving team of Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr, with Romain Dumas will return for 2013. (James Fish/The Epoch Times)

“I’m very excited to have both Klaus Graf and Lucas back in our car,” Pickett said. “They are one of the strongest driver combinations in the sports car world right now and they definitely are an asset to Muscle Milk Pickett Racing. Once again, we will also have Romain with us, this time for both Sebring and Petit Le Mans. It’s always a great pleasure to have him on the team. Romain, Klaus and Lucas make for quite the driver lineup.

This is a powerhouse line-up—and it will need to be. Muscle Milk faces challenges from the Dyson Racing Lola Flybrid and also the Rebellion Lola Toyota

“We know our friends at Dyson Racing will also come out strong and we now have another very competitive team in the mix with Rebellion Racing coming in for the season,” Pickett continued. “It won’t be easy, but we’re ready to face the challenge.

“We’ll be racing their upgraded HPD ARX-03c package this season and we’ve been working closely with them to continuously improve our Muscle Milk car. We’re looking forward to a great season and we can’t wait for it to get underway.”

That season gets underway with the two-day ALMS Sebring Winter Test, Feb. 7–8, and the competition kicks off with the last real Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 16.

Tickets for the Winter test and the Sebring 12 Hours can be purchased at the box office or online through SebringRaceway.com.

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Claire Suarez