Muscle Milk men lead first Petit Le Mans test sessions

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Back-to-back American Le Mans Series P1 champions Muscle Milk Pickett Racing paced both of today’s test sessions at Road Atlanta for next weekend’s Petit Le Mans, with a fast time of 1 minute, 10.510 seconds set in the morning run.

For the 10-hour race, Muscle Milk’s usual duo of Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf will be joined by Romain Dumas, who was the one that posted the quick time this afternoon in the No. 6 HPD ARX-03c.

Also testing today were Level 5 Motorsports’ two P2 entries, the No. 551 and 552 HPD ARX-03b machines. The No. 551, which will be driven by Scott Tucker and Ryan Briscoe at Petit, was second-fastest overall (1 minute, 13.689 seconds), with the No. 552 of Tucker, Marino Franchitti and Guy Cosmo logging the third-fastest lap (1 minute, 14.489 seconds).

Four GT machines took part in Sunday’s sessions, with the class led by the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R that will be driven by Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer and Tommy Kendall. The No. 93 topped out with a lap at 1 minute, 19.394 seconds.

The Prototype Challenge and GT Challenge categories only had one car apiece turn laps on Sunday. On the PC side, the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 of Sean Rayhall and Ozz Negri logged a fast lap of 1 minute, 16.072 seconds. In GTC, the No. 66 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Craig Stanton, Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner threw down a lap of 1 minute, 25.283 seconds; Keating and Faulkner enter Petit on a two-race win streak in GTC after wins at Circuit of the Americas and Virginia International Raceway.

Another pair of test sessions are slated for Monday at Road Atlanta, the first from 8 a.m. to Noon ET and the second from 1-5 p.m. ET.

MRTI: Sunday Barber Notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Mother Nature intervened heavily on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, and the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires both completed their second races of the weekend on a wet track.

Indy Lights saw Andretti Autosport’s Pato O’Ward complete the weekend sweep – he won Race 1 on Saturday – while Pro Mazda had a wet and wild race of survival that saw a pair of leaders go off, giving way to another first-time winner in Pro Mazda at the end of the day.

Reports on both races are below.

Indy Lights: Race 2 Victory Completes Dominant Weekend for O’Ward

Pato O’Ward celebrates his Race 2 victory at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Andretti Autosport’s Pato O’Ward completed a perfect weekend at Barber Motorsports Park by claiming victory in Indy Lights Race 2 on Sunday.

Officials were forced to move the race up to 10:45 a.m. local time (11:45 ET) due to weather, and Race 2 began under a rain shower.

However, it did not deter O’Ward one bit, who rocketed off into the lead from the pole, and was never headed on his way to winning by over five seconds.

In addition to winning both races, O’Ward led every lap in both races, completing a weekend of utter dominance for the 18-year-old native of Mexico.

Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni came home in second, his best finish since moving up to Indy Lights this year, with Andretti Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta rounding out the podium.

The Belardi Auto Racing duo of Aaron Telitz and Santi Urrutia finished fourth and fifth, with Telitz finally finishing a race after only completing a combined four corners in the first three races of the season.

Urrutia, meanwhile struggled somewhat and faded to fifth after starting third.

Andretti’s Dalton Kellett and Ryan Norman and Juncos’ Alfonso Celis Jr. rounded out the field in sixth, seventh, and eighth.

Results are below.

Pro Mazda: Harrison Scott Survives the Rain to Take First Pro Mazda Win

Harrison Scott and RP Motorsports celebrate victory in Pro Mazda Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

RP Motorsport’s Harrison Scott managed to survive a track that started out damp, began drying out, and then became very wet during a downpour in the final laps to win in Pro Mazda Race 2 from Barber.

Scott, who started second, was able to pass Exclusive Autosport’s Parker Thompson, the polesitter and Race 1 winner, on the inside entering Turn 5 on Lap 2, with Thompson running slightly off track on corner exit and falling back to third, with Team Pelfrey’s Andres Gutierrez going through into second.

Scott, Gutierrez, and Thompson stayed close the rest of the way, and Gutierrez even managed to make a nifty outside pass on Scott in Turn 5 on Lap 9 to take the lead.

However, rain, which hit the track briefly and stopped about 30 minutes before the race started, returned in the second half of the race, and progressively got heavier.

It all came to a head on Lap 21, when the slick conditions sent Gutierrez off course in Turns 7 and 8. He rejoined the track, but fell back to seventh, allowing Scott back into the lead.

Race Control quickly threw a caution as a result of the conditions, and the race finished under yellow, with Scott taking the checkered flag for his first Pro Mazda win.

Behind Scott, Thompson came home in second, with Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunhas in third. Cunha’s teammate Rinus VeeKay was fourth, with BN Racing’s David Malukas rounding out the Top 5.

Of note: Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew was one of a couple drivers who pitted for rain tires under the late yellow, gambling that the race may go back to green – he was running tenth at the time. However, because the race never went back to green, Askew was relegated to 12th at the end.

Results are below.

Note: Check back later for driver quotes.

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