Graf earns overall pole for American Le Mans at CTMP

Leave a comment

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing appears to be the odds-on favorite to win tomorrow’s American Le Mans Series event at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Klaus Graf, who co-drives the No.6 Muscle Milk HPD-ARX 03c with Lucas Luhr, put his team on the pole for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix with a lap of 1 minute, 5.871 seconds during Saturday’s qualifying session – almost four seconds ahead of their closest competition in the P1 category.

“Shortly before the end of the second practice session, I wasn’t too happy but we made another adjustment and we hit the sweet spot with our Muscle Milk car and it was really good in qualifying,” Graf said in a team release. “The track changes they made here improved some areas in terms of grip as well so it was a good day.

“The Michelin tires also came in perfect, we hit the sweet spot as well with the pressure and the temperature which is almost always a little bit critical especially on a quick track like here – it’s not always easy.”

Mike Conway landed his first career P2 pole for Level 5 Motorsports with a time of 1 minute, 8.785 seconds in the No. 552 HPD ARX-03b. The P2 front row will be all-Level 5, as teammate Marino Franchitti qualified second (1 minute, 9.031 seconds) in the No. 551 HPD.

Also earning pole for the first time was Jonathan Bomarito in the GT class. The former open-wheel prospect drove the No. 93 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R to P1 in the class with a time of 1 minute, 15.462 seconds – less than two-tenths of a second ahead of Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette Racing entry.

Jeroen Bleekemolen will start on the GT Challenge pole following a lap of 1 minute, 21.310 seconds in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. As for the Prototype Challenge class, the field there will be set by points after an incident involving the class championship leader, Mike Guasch, cut the session short.

However, even though Colin Braun set the fastest time in PC, the session didn’t meet the 10-minute minimum requirement. As a result, Guasch will be on the PC pole in the No. 52 PR1-Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

Follow@KyleMLavigne