Luhr and Hand take Austin ALMS poles

Luhr and Hand take Austin ALMS poles

ALMS

Luhr and Hand take Austin ALMS poles

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Lucas Luhr claimed pole position for Saturday’s American Le Mans Series race at the wheel of the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c.

Luhr, who sealed the ALMS LMP1 title with teammate Klaus Graf last time out in Baltimore, took pole in wet conditions by nearly three seconds from Marino Franchitti in the best of the Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b LMP2s.

The second fastest P1 car was the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda B12/60 driven by Chris McMurry in fifth place behind the two Extreme Speed Motorsports P2 HPDs driven by Johannes van Overbeek and Anthony Lazzaro respectively.

“I did one timed lap and one slow lap to try to cool the tires, and then did another fast one,” Luhr said. “It worked out pretty good.”

GT honors went to Joey Hand, who was a late replacement for Maxime Martin in the No. 55 BMW Z4, in the best of the Rahal team’s entries. He claimed pole with his first flying lap to edge out Antonio Garcia’s Chevrolet Corvette C6.R by just under three tenths of a second.

“The rain really played to the strengths of our car and tire,” said Hand, who won his first pole of the season and sixth of his career. “Today was the first time I ever saw the Michelin rain tire. Wow! We had a lot of rear grip. We were not the quickest car in the dry, but it was really strong in the wet.”
 
While co-driver Bill Auberlen won two Grand-Am races for BMW earlier this year in Austin, this was Hand’s first visit to the circuit that opened with the United States Grand Prix Formula 1 race last November.
 
“I’m definitely digging this track,” Hand said. “It’s definitely a driver’s track. I got to learn it during the two days of testing, but when I went out there for the first time in the rain today, it was, Where do I go now?’ But I found that the wet line here is pretty straightforward.”

Renger van de Zande took his first pole with the DragonSpeed squad in the LMPC class for one-make ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09s, while Damien Faulkner was fastest in the GTC Porsche division for The Racers Group.

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