The Final Round
After nine races, nine podium finishes, including six dominating victories and over 38 hours of racing, it all comes down to one final event - more precisely another 700 miles or seven hours - for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing as it aims to reach its ultimate 2012 goal of clinching their first ALMS Championship.
That event is none other than the Petit Le Mans, one of the most demanding races on the American Le Mans Series schedule that covers a distance of 1000 miles or 10 hours - whichever comes first - around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn roller coaster of a ride that is Road Atlanta.
With Pickett Racing leading the Drivers standings by 13 points and the Team Championship by nine, the Greg Pickett-led team must complete 70% of the race distance - which will allow them to score points - in order for them to take home both titles.
The Muscle Milk squad is entering the final round of the season carrying plenty of momentum hot off a victory at Virginia International Raceway last month where Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr crossed the finish line with a three-lap lead.
While the team's main focus will be on its battle for the Championship with Dyson Racing, it is also looking forward to facing Rebellion Racing for the top P1 honors at Petit Le Mans.
Coming in to help the team and complete its driver lineup for the 10 hour/1000 mile endurance race is Romain Dumas who took a class victory in his first ever appearance at Road Atlanta. This season, the Frenchman, and his team, would like nothing more than to end the season on the top step of the podium.
The team will be testing on Monday, October 15th during the promoter test session before returning to the track for the start of official practice on Thursday, October 18th. Qualifying for the final round of the season will start at 2:00 pm ET on Friday, October 19th, with the race going green at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, October 20.
The 2012 Petit Le Mans will be streamed live on ESPN3.com from 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 20 and will be broadcast on tape-delay on ABC Sunday, October 21 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET.
Muscle Milk Quotes
Klaus Graf, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
"I'm looking forward to the final race of the year. The Petit Le Mans has become a very important race for the ALMS as it closes the season and very often decides the Championship, as is the case for us this year. We have a good lead in the P1 standings but we still need to finish 70% of the race to gain points. That has to be our approach going into the race even though we'd love to go flat out from the beginning, we need to focus on our main goal, which is to win the Championship.
"Road Atlanta is my favorite race track in the United States and I'm very much looking forward to taking our Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a out on this track.
"I'd like to welcome back Romain Dumas who is joining us for this race. Between Lucas, Romain and myself, I'm confident that we have a great team to get the job done."
Lucas Luhr, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
"Petit Le Mans is always a difficult race with so many cars on track and to drive there for the Championship is not easy at all. However, that said, Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks in the United States.
"It will be important for us to stay focused and 'cool' for at least 70% of the race, after that, we can attack! But the big picture must remain the Championship for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, for Klaus and myself.
"On the other hand, we cannot think about the championship too much, we just need to do our normal thing. Finally, with Romain in the car to help us, I can't think of a better teammate to have for this race."
Romain Dumas, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
"Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks. It's a very special place for me as I not only took part in my first race there but I also took my first class win at that track back in 2003.
"The layout, with its elevation changes and fast corners, is absolutely fantastic, especially in a P1 car. It's one of the rare tracks where the driver can still make a difference and the atmosphere at Road Atlanta is just incredible. It's a race that you don't want to miss and I'm more than pleased to be entered in the P1 class.
"Muscle Milk Pickett Racing are focused on winning the Championship at Petit Le Mans and I'm looking forward to helping them in achieving their goal."
Petit Le Mans
Road Atlanta, 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course, Braselton, GA
October 17 - 20, 2012
American Le Mans Series: Round #10 of 10
Race Duration: 10 hours or 1000 miles
ALMS TV Broadcast:
Tape delayed, Sunday, October 21, 2012 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm ET
ALMS live online coverage:
United States: ESPN3.com
Qualifying - Friday, October 19, 2012: 1:50 pm - 3:20 pm ET
Race - Saturday, October 20, 2012: From 11:30 am ET
MotorsTV - Live on Saturday, October 20
Fox Sports Middle East - Live on Saturday, October 20
Fox Latin American Networks - Live on Saturday, October 20
SportsNet: Tape delayed - Sunday, October 20, 2012 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm ET
Schedule (All times eastern):
Monday, October 15, 2012
Test session: 8:00 am - noon
Test session: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Test session: 1:15 pm - 1:45 pm (P1/P2/PC)
Test session: 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm (All Classes)
Test session: 2:45 pm - 3:15 pm (GT/GTE-AM/GTC)
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Practice 1: 10:15 am - 11:15 am (All Classes)
Practice 2: 3:20 pm - 4:20 pm (All Classes)
Practice 3 - Night Practice: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (All Classes)
Friday, October 19, 2012:
Practice 4: 10:30 am - 11:30 am (All Classes)
Autograph Session: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Qualifying: 2:00 pm - 2:15 pm (GTC / GTE-AM)
Qualifying: 2:20 pm - 2:35 pm (GT)
Qualifying: 2:40 pm - 2:55 pm (PC)
Qualifying: 3:00 pm - 3:15 pm (P1/P2)
Saturday, October 20, 2012:
Warm up: 9:15 am - 9:40 am (All Classes)
ALMS Race: 11:30 am (10 hours or 1000 miles whichever comes first)