Audi Claims ALMS Victory
September 4, 2007
Audi AG performed remarkably well in the tenth race of the American Le Mans Series on the new street circuit in Detroit. The noteworthy performance of the team’s reliable race car and equally-efficient drivers made the German automaker grab the second and third place overall.
According to the automaker the success of the team is significantly attributed to the impressive performance of modern diesel engine technology mated to the Audi fuel pump and other cutting-edge parts.
The two sportscars from the automaker, which started the race from the fourth row, sport a dynamic performance. The Audi R10 TDI of Italy’s Emanuele Pirro and Germany’s Marco Werner were in the lead until four laps before the end of the ALM event. In an electrifying battle, the cars were beaten by a lighter Porsche of the LM P2 category by only 5.9 seconds.
"It was a great race. Dumas was quicker in the end. I tried everything what I have learned in 30 years of motor racing, but I didn't want to play dirty. I had a lot of pick up and I unfortunately could not do more in the last laps. Audi and TDI technology did a wonderful job today, this is a fantastic result and I am satisfied," commented Pirro.
Werner commented: "A big thank to Audi and the team of Champion Racing. Our pit crew did a superb job for us. The Audi R10 TDI was very good, my stint was okay. Unfortunately we lost the race in the last five minutes - we almost had the victory in our pockets."
"We saw another dramatic ALMS race. After Mosport we thought that it could not be closer. To lose the overall victory three minutes before the end after a long lead hurts of course. But on the other side we did not expect to fight against the lighter LM P2 cars for the victory on this street circuit, especially after the qualifying. The race performance and the strategy of the team were very good. Our drivers demonstrated once more the meaning of Audi TDI power," said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the head of the company’s motorsport after the race.
Italy’s Dindo Capello and Scotland’s Allan McNish completed an exceptional team performance with third place overall and second in LM P1. With that the German automaker celebrated the 20th consecutive victory in the LM P1 category, the "king class" of the Le Mans prototypes. Additionally, the team secured two races to bag the manufacturers’ title prior to the end of the season. Previously, Audi won eight of such title.
"Having taken over from Allan after the restart I was baulked. The leading Porsche of [Romain] Dumas was slow at the green flag which slowed [Chris] Dyson and me enabling Emanuele [Pirro] to take a clean run from fourth behind me and into the lead. For almost the next 30mins, Dyson was defending third place very hard and that cost the #1 Audi any hope of overall honours. It was then a case of ensuring another good LM P1 points score for the championship," said Capello.
"Second and third places overall for Audi on possibly the least suited circuit for our R10 TDI is a positive result. We were much more competitive in the race than had been expected partly due to us being good in traffic. I had grabbed the lead 10mins before I pitted to Dindo during a full course yellow but we encountered a nut problem on the front left wheel which cost us valuable seconds and dropped us into the pack," noted McNish.
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