Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen won a thrilling American Le Mans Series battle at Circuit of The Americas to retake the GT class championship lead, while the Muscle Milk Pickett HPD triumphed outright again.
Garcia hung on in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R to win the class by just under a second from Jonathan Bomarito in the SRT Viper GTS-R he shared with Kuno Wittmer. Dirk Muller, who had battled with Garcia over the final hour, was a further four seconds back in the Rahal BMW Z4 that John Edwards started from the back of the grid.
“With 30 minutes to go, I had Dirk on my bumper. I knew that the traffic was my only chance, so I was really aggressive,” Garcia said. “That gave me some time over him and also gave me enough over the Viper at the end.”
Bomarito had led during the first stint after a battle with Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette and Magnussen and was in front when he handed over to Wittmer.
Wittmer was unable to match his teammate’s pace, which meant Bomarito was more than 21 seconds behind Garcia when he passed the second Viper driven by Marc Goossens for fourth.
The Viper made it up to third ahead of Joey Hand in the second BMW in the closing stages and then overtook Muller at Turn 1 with two laps. Former GT points leaders Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner failed to score after their Corvette retired with gearbox problems early in the race.
Overall victory went to Pickett Racing duo Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf. The German pair, who were crowned LMP1 champions last time out in Baltimore, led every lap of the race in the HPD ARX-03c. They finished two laps up on the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda B12/60 shared by Chris McMurry and Tony Burgess.
LMP2 honors and third place overall went to the Level 5 HPD ARX-03b driven by Scott Tucker and Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe was running behind teammate Marino Franchitti, who shared with Guy Cosmo, in the final stages when the Scot picked up a puncture and had to pit.
The LMPC one-make prototype class was dominated by the BAR1 Motorsports pairing of Kyle Marcelli and Chris Cumming, who had a perfect run interrupted only by an unscheduled pitstop to attend to rear bodywork fouling the left-rear tire.
The one-make GTC Porsche class was won by The Racers’ Group entry driven by Damien Faulkner and Ben Keating. Faulkner overhauled Sean Edwards in the NGT Motorsport car in the final laps after he was tapped from behind by Garcia.