Muscle Milk looking back, and ahead to 2012

- Team appoints new team manager and  promises bigger presence for 2012 - With the 2011 season now in the books, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's team owner Greg Pickett took some time to take a look back at the past season, while giving a glimpse of what the future holds for the Benicia, CA-based team, like the appointment of a new team manager and an even bigger presence in the American Le Mans Series.

The 2011 season was Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's winningest one so far in the sports car series, but it was also a character building year for the Greg Pickett-led team.

2011 saw them go through many ups and downs as they learned the intricacies of the Aston Martin LMP1 car. The highs were filled with four visits to the winner's circle while the lowest of the lows consisted of registering their first ever DNFs.

"Looking back on this past season brings back all kinds of emotions," shared Greg Pickett. "We started the season with our first DNF and that was not something we were very proud of at Pickett Racing, it's not the way we like to do things, especially not after having scored podium finishes in all of our previous races."

The closest overall finish in ALMS history took place at Road AmericaThe team bounced back at the following race at Long Beach in a dominating fashion and scored its first win of the season and third overall victory in the ALMS. It then finished second at Lime Rock Park and went on to score three victories in a row at Mosport, Mid-Ohio and Road America bringing their total number of victories to seven.

"The win at Long Beach was very satisfying," continued Pickett. "After Sebring we asked ourselves many questions and while we were confident we would bounce back, doing it in such a way meant a lot to everyone on the team.

"The middle of the season was outstanding, what more is there to say. We scored three victories in a row in great battles with eventual Championship winners Dyson Racing and that's the part of 2011 that will standout in my memory. The finish at Road America is something I will never forget, I was physically and emotionally drained at the end of that race, it was so nerve-wracking!

"After that, we obviously didn't end the season the way we wanted to. We had such a successful season up until Baltimore and because of the issues we had from that point on, which were all out of our control, we can only imagine what could have been. We had the speed and the performance, but sadly, no reliability and we know how important that is.

"Once again, we learned a lot this past year and it's only served to make us stronger as a  Brandon Fry (center) with Timo Bernhard (left) and Greg Pickett (right) group. We're looking forward to building on these past experiences as we enter 2012 with one goal in mind, that of winning the championship."

Pickett is currently hard at work finalizing plans for the upcoming season, but an announcement in regards to part of its 2012 program can be expected next week with more news in the weeks to come.

One task that Pickett has already taken care of was that of naming a new team manager. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's Chief Engineer Brandon Fry was appointed Team Manager last week and will be taking on both roles. Fry has been with the team since 2010 and has played a huge part in the team's success.

Additionally, looking toward 2012, the Muscle Milk team has expanded its full-time employee base and is promising a bigger presence both on and off of the track.

The 2012 American Le Mans Series season gets underway with the 12 Hours of Sebring, which takes place March 17, 2012.