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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2001  

Audi R8  2001  -  2002  -  2003  -  2004  -  2005  -  2006

Champion Racing -  Le Mans
  Champion Audi Sets Second-Fastest Time at Le Mans  

Champion Racing Audi R8 pilot Ralf Kelleners set a blistering qualifying-style lap in the afternoon session, setting the second-fastest time of Sunday's Le Mans Preliminary Testing. Ralf's 3:33.205sec lap on Michelin qualifying rubber was less than half a second shy of the leading Joest Audi R8's time of 3:32.742. The third-fastest time of the day was set by Team Bentley at 3:34.050, nearly a full second adrift of Kelleners' best lap.

After the final session, Champion Racing owner Dave Maraj said, "All the credit goes to the Champion R8 crew for preparing our Audi so well for the biggest day since Champion started racing, and Ralf Kelleners really pulled it out for us when it counted this afternoon. We're really proud to be going into the Le Mans race in June with such a solid and productive test behind us". Sunday's testing was made up of two four-hour sessions, during which '91 Le Mans winner Johnny Herbert and Didier Theys had their first Champion Audi track time. Theys had previously driven an Audi R8R at Le Mans in 1999.

Sunday morning dawned very cold, windy and somewhat cloudy, but by the time the first test session commenced at 9am the sky was mostly clear and very sunny. The
rain that had plagued our early preparations was fortunately absent during the test day, though the weather remained cold and very windy. The sun through most of the day meant track conditions were improved in the afternoon session.

The Le Mans 24 Hours takes place on 16-17 June. We'll follow Champion's whole Le Mans race week right here.

  Herbert, Theys and Kelleners Didier Theys Theys approaches Indianapolis Kelleners at Ford Chicane  
  Johnny Herbert leaves the pits Johnny Herbert Kelleners through the Dunlop Curves The crew prepares for the Tests...  
  Pit stop during the morning session Bobby Green...in there somewhere Thierry Boutsen and Brad Kettler    
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