ALMS team owner and driver of the popular #06 Muscle Milk LMP1 car, Greg Pickett, today announced his 2008 racing schedule. Team plans include LMS race dates in Europe that will culminate with his bid to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans in June. German driver Klaus Graf will return to the team for 2008, as well as veteran sports car driver and former Le Mans winner Jan Lammers.
Team Cytosport has acquired the Lola/Judd LMP1car previously run in 2007 by Charouz Racing Systems. The Lola, with its Judd powerplant, was raced last year where it finished 5th in the LMP1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “We are pleased to have put together this partnership with Antonín Charouz/Charouz Racing Systems and are looking forward to bringing the Muscle Milk team to Europe” said the exuberant 61 year old Pickett, “It has been a personal life long dream for me to race at Le Mans, and to create such a professional program with such fantastic co-drivers Klaus and Jan is just outstanding. Add to that, we have confirmed that we will be racing on Michelins and that is just another card in our favor.”
German driver, Klaus Graf returns to pick up the co-driving chores after having a great debut with the team in 2007. “I am really looking forward to my second year with team Cytosport. We had a lot of success right out of the box last year, and we are going to be even stronger in 2008” said Graf, “to race in Europe and go to LeMans in cooperation with Charouz Racing Systems took a tremendous effort and I would like to thank Greg Pickett and Tony Charouz to make this happen. To compete again in the 24 hours of Le Mans as a driver in the top division with our Lola/Judd is simply fantastic. We should have a very strong package as the car proved last year. Jan and I were team mates before; he is a great guy to work with and with his Le Mans experience he’s the perfect fit for our team. Together with Greg Pickett and myself we’ll have the perfect driver line up – I am sure we’re going to enjoy the race a lot. I love Le Mans, - what a race!”
As the third driver in the line-up, Jan Lammers was chosen for his vast experience at Le Mans and also with respect to his being a Team owner in the A1GP series. “I am delighted to enter my 21st Le Mans as a driver rather than team owner, driving for Team Cytosport/Charouz Racing Systems is a great combination. I have always thought that Klaus Graf is a tremendously undervalued driver and the fact that the team has recognized his quality tells me they know their business. Greg Pickett clearly compensates age for character and being 51 myself, I can subscribe to that. The car doesn’t know who is driving it; the only thing that matters is how it is driven versus the stopwatch. If a 70 year old does the right things he will beat a 20 year old who does the wrong things. Antonín Charouz I know as my colleague seat holder of the Czech Republic A1GP Team, both Antonín and Greg share a great genuine passion for the sport and this is reflected in how they run their sportscar teams and business. I am very proud to be part of the line up and hope that I can do the job how it needs to be done.” Incredibly, 2008 will mark Jan’s 21st Le Mans start.
Team Jota, headed by Sam Hignett, has been chosen to provide preparation and support for the Team Cytosport European effort out of their U.K. facility as they did for Charouz in 2007. Engineering and crew support will be comprised of members of Team Jota as well as members of the U.S. based Team Cytosport. Following the Le Mans race, Team Cytosport is scheduled to return to the U.S. to rejoin the ALMS series at Mid-Ohio and run the remainder of the season there.
(Klaus Graf // Team Cytosport)