Luhr, Graf score American Le Mans win at Lime Rock

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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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”