Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be starting what is gearing up to be a year of firsts when it kicks off the season at this weekend's 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
It will mark the first time that the Greg Pickett-led team fields two cars in the American Le Mans Series. The team has added a PC car for drivers Mike Guasch and Memo Gidley to its P1 entry piloted by Germans Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr.
Additionally, with the debut of its HPD ARX-03a, the team will be writing another chapter in its history, as it will also be the first time it enters a season with a brand new prototype built to comply with the latest P1 regulations.
The team has had successful test sessions with both cars leading up to the main event of the season and is looking forward to finally getting back into racing mode and measuring themselves to the competition, which includes teams from the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Joining Muscle Milk Pickett Racing aboard its #6 Muscle Milk, Michelin-clad P1 entry, for its third appearance at the 12-hour endurance race, will be 2010 ALMS Champion and ace HPD pilot Simon Pagenaud.
On the PC side, New Zealander and renowned historic racer Roger Wills will share the team's #5 Muscle Milk / Molecule car with Gidley and last year's PC class winner Guasch.
The action at Sebring International Raceway gets underway today with a full day of testing. American Le Mans Series teams will also get two one-hour test sessions on Tuesday before the start of official practice on Thursday.
Qualifying will take place on Friday, March 16th and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com starting at 3:15 pm ET. The 60th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring will go green on Saturday, March 17. Fans can follow live streaming on ESPN3.com from 10:15 am ET.
The race will be broadcast on ABC, on tape-delay, Sunday, March 18th at noon ET.
Muscle Milk Quotes
Klaus Graf, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
"Coming to the 12 Hours of Sebring will be a new chapter in the history of Muscle Milk Pickett Racing. For the first time, since we entered the ALMS, we will be starting the season with a brand new car. Our HPD ARX-03a is a state of the art P1 car built to the latest regulations and to have the first race of the season at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the biggest race of the year in the ALMS, is certainly very special. "Going into this year's race, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Our goal for 2012 is to win the ALMS championship and in order to do that, the first step is to finish this 12-hour race so that we can pick up maximum points. Then, there is a record entry list with over 60 cars, which means managing traffic and staying out of the pits will be key. "Last but not least there are the WEC competitors. Even though we all run for our Championships there is still a top result overall up for grabs. "We've done very productive testing prior to the race and I want to say a great thank you to our Muscle Milk crew, who did an awesome job assembling the first ever HPD ARX-03a. Together with Lucas and Simon we'll try to give the boys and everyone at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing the reward they deserve for all the hard work and endless hours they put in."
Lucas Luhr, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
"I'm very happy that the season is finally starting. We had two great tests with the HPD ARX-03a and learned a lot of different things but putting in one fast lap is one thing, nothing beats being in a race situation because at the end of the day that's where it counts and that's where you truly measure up to the competition."Like at all our races, the important factor will be to stay out of trouble but with so many cars entered into this race with the WEC teams here, dealing with the traffic will be that much more challenging. "We're really looking forward to the race but I think everyone at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be happy once the race is over because it has been a hectic last couple of months for them with very little time off and we would like nothing more than to give the guys a great result to thank them for all their hard work."
Simon Pagenaud, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a
"The 12 Hours of Sebring is such a legendary race and I'm always really looking forward to it as I love facing great challenges. "This year should be interesting with the new HPD ARX-03a. It's a great evolution to last year's car, with which I finished second in a titanic battle, and the HPD prototype is becoming a very popular car in the world of sports car racing with its competitiveness and reliability. "I'm really excited about joining Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and the opportunity to represent Muscle Milk alongside HPD. I'm looking forward to very exciting times!"
Mike Guasch, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
"Prior to coming into the Sebring race week, we had a very productive test that ended on a very high note and that has made me very confident heading into the race. I feel like we have a very good starting point for the week, which even as is will give us a very competitive car and I think it will only get better as the week goes by. "I trust that our engineering group will give us the car that we need for the race and I'm also very excited about our pace. I'm much faster than I was last year, and I know Memo will have the pace, as will Roger, so as a combination, I'm convinced that we will be very competitive. Obviously, the key will be to stay trouble-free and not make any big mistakes."I can't say I felt this confident last year. I knew we had the possibility to do well and we ended up winning it because we did what we had to do and didn't have any problems. I have the feeling that we can do the same here at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing."
Memo Gidley, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
"This whole program is very exciting. With Sebring upon us, it's the start of realizing this dream that I've had of driving for Greg Pickett's Muscle Milk team full-time. Mike Guasch and I started putting this deal together so long ago that now it's just amazing that we're here. "For me, the goal is not just to be here, it is to win the Championship but I'm going into it very realistically as everybody is, the PC class is very competitive and we want to do our best at Sebring and create some good momentum to move forward with."I have a total blast every time I'm around the Muscle Milk team and my teammate Mike Guasch. I have to say, driving the #5 Muscle Milk PC car, it's more fun than any person should be allowed to have."
Roger Wills, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Sebring with Muscle Milk Pickett Racing in the PC car. The Sebring 12 Hours is such an incredible event and it really left a mark on me in 2011 so it is great to be coming back with a top team in a really competitive car. "Memo Gidley and Mike Guasch have been doing a lot of testing and it has gone very well. I can't wait to get in the car and get some running in before race day. The team is very strong and I'm hoping for a great result at Sebring."