Klaus Graf picked up Friday morning where Lucas Luhr left off Thursday evening in unofficial testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Graf set the best time for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing in the first official practice session for Saturday's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, as the German turned a lap of 1:12.185 in the No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype that is on a four-race win streak in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
Graf and Luhr lead the ALMS P1 driver's championship and are the defending race winners at Mid-Ohio. Graf went 0.936sec quicker than Dyson Racing's Guy Smith in the No. 16 Lola-Mazda coupe. Smith, last year's polesitter, was more than two seconds clear of Michael Marsal in Dyson Racing's No. 20 Lola-Mazda.
In GT, Patrick Long was fastest in Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with a lap of 1:20.511 that put him 0.12 seconds ahead of Corvette Racing's Oliver Gavin. The top six cars in class were within 0.466sec.
This weekend marks the debut of the two SRT Viper GTS-Rs. In Thursday's testing, the No. 91 Viper of Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer was 11th, two spots ahead of the No. 93 entry of Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendall.
“First of all I want to thank the whole SRT team for putting this together. It's been a hell of a few months,” said Farnbacher, who posted the team's best lap Thursday. “We've been working day and night, and thanks to the team for working day and night.
“The car feels fantastic,” he added. “The first time out it already feels very good. Of course, the first time out we have a little fine-tuning to do on the setup, but other than that it's a fantastic car. I think we're heading the right way. It feels good so far.”
Level 5 Motorsports' Christophe Bouchut was the fastest P2 driver in the No. 055 HPD ARX-03b at 1:15.173 (108.135 mph). He was 0.224sec clear of Conquest Racing's Martin Plowman in the No. 37 Morgan-Nissan.
Second practice is set for 11:15 a.m. ET with qualifying at 12:25 p.m.