Six wins with
Muscle Milk Pickett
Racing since the
start of 2011 takes
Luhr to 37 in his
American Le Mans
Series tenure. His
car career has also
included an ALMS
title with Audi and
two GT class wins
at the 24 Hours
of Le Mans.
For a non-factory team, I think the HPD
ARX-03a is the best state-of-the-art
prototype you can buy. There’s still a lot
of horsepower and downforce, which
makes it a satisfying car to drive. I’d say
the best way to describe the feeling is it’s
like a go-kart with massive horsepower.
The car is very precise, very direct, and
with so much downforce, the speed you can
carry through some of the intermediate
corners is just amazing. You can brake very
deep with the carbon fiber brakes, too.
Because it’s a new car, the HPD has
better downforce and handling than last
year’s Lola-Aston Martin. You can’t really
compare as it was a coupe and this is an
open-cockpit car, but the most significant
difference is we had a restricted V12 last
year, versus the 3.4-liter V8 now.
Trying to compare it with a factory team
and car, like the Audi I used to drive, isn’t a
true comparison, either. Audi had 200-plus
people, and while this team is a lot smaller,
there’s more passion, I would say. It almost
feels like a second family! But it’s also just
as professional and dedicated as the works
teams. Remember how we put pressure on
street-softs – has a different construction,
but it is still very reliable and durable. The
car is a lot better on these than the tires
we used previously, and you can clearly
see that in the performance.
During the Le Mans break, we had our
first big test, which allowed us to try a lot
more things than we can during a race
weekend. With the experience we gained,
we have more setup options, and I think
the package will be even stronger.
the Audis at Sebring this year? That shows
what a relatively smaller team can do
when they’re all pulling together.
The tires we had before were LMP1
tires designed for the diesel cars. Those
cars are heavier and have a lot of torque.
We always struggled with our package to
get the tires up to temperature. We’ve
found the softer Michelin compound – the
“The best way to describe the
feeling is it’s like a go-kart with
Luhr and Graf’s HPD cockpit is P1 state of the
art, and the team has upgraded to a McLaren
F1- level telemetry system. But the best thing
about having an open cockpit, in Luhr’s view?
Still getting a flow of fresh air on hot days.