The Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder was very successful in ALMS competition, winning 3 times in 2010 and having a perfect podium record: 12 for 12! [Photo: Anne Proffit]

Greg Pickett, the evergreen driver/owner who has put a Porsche RS Spyder on the American Le Mans Series grids – and thrice in the 2010 winner’s circle – is changing horses for the 2011 season.

This year Pickett Racing becomes the official Aston Martin Racing team partner in ALMS, entering a 2010 LM P1 Aston Martin/Lola in the series that is part of the International Le Mans Cup on two occasions – the season starting Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring and season closing Petit Le Mans.  The team is known as Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing.  

Because 2010 prototypes are “grandfathered” for the coming season according to rules set by IMSA that bring performance levels down to the 2011 cars.  With Porsche deciding not to continue with the RS Spyder, the decision to race a V-12 Aston Martin Lola-based prototype was an easy one for Pickett, who said he had options but the AMR entry was “best out of all the possibilities.”

The Muscle Milk coupe underwent a shakedown in the UK before shipment to Pickett’s Benicia, California headquarters, where it’s expected to arrive the second week of January.  The team expects to show the car at the official ALMS pre-season test session the first part of February.  This particular car won the ALMS championship in 2009 and competed in both the Sebring and Long Beach ALMS races last season.  

The partnership with Prodrive and Aston Martin Racing gives the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing squad an embedded factory engineer and access to any of Aston Martin Racing’s drivers, which could help drivers Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf in ALMS endurance contests.  Michelin continues as the team’s tire of choice.

“Aston Martin offers us a great opportunity to continue to grow from a racing and performance perspective,” said Picket, “but they also provide us with a great platform to showcase our Muscle Milk brand in both the United States and Europe.  We look forward to working with Aston Martin North America in order to maximize marketing opportunities throughout the year as well as giving them the on-track results they deserve.”

George Howard-Chappell, Aston Martin Racing technical director noted, “It’s excellent news that Aston Martin Racing will, once again have a partner team contesting the whole season in the American Le Mans Series.  The ALMS is one of the most prestigious and respected sports car championships in the world, and to have a team of such experience running our LM P1 car will give the team a great opportunity to challenge for the title.”

Agreeing with race fans across the country, ALMS president and CEO Scott Atherton noted, “I am very much looking forward to a full season of that glorious, piercing sound coming from the Aston Martin V12 motor – it’s going to be music to my ears.”

© 2011 Anne Proffit