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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2001  

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

Champion Racing -  ALMS Mid-Ohio
  Tough going for Champion at ALMS Mid-Ohio  

(Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, 25 August) The debut race for the American Le Mans Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was a difficult one for Champion Racing. After setting the fastest time in pre-event testing, Johnny Herbert qualified the 2000-spec R8 just fifth for the 2-hour, 45-minute enduro on Saturday. Jan Magnussen and David Brabham took their second win of the season in the Panoz.

On raceday, starter Andy Wallace struggled finding grip on the hot mid-west track. Prior to pitting to turn over to Herbert Wallace made slight contact with another car and was penalized for "rough driving". Herbert was penalized soon after for exceeding the pit lane speed limit, the two penalties costing nearly a minute on-track by the time both penalties had been served.

The dramas weren't over, as Herbert was forced to pit with an engine misfire. The stop to solve that problem was made during a full-course caution, however, and quick work from the crew meant the car did not lose a lap during the fix. Several caution periods slowed the later stages of the race, but Herbert persevered to climb back to the fifth finishing position, after being well back in sixth for many laps.

Champion's 2000-spec R8, co-driven by Johnny Herbert and Andy Wallace of England, turned a best lap of 1:31.63 (88.707 mph) on the wet track to lead the session. The car was rebuilt on the team's spare tub (chassis 406) after Herbert was involved in a crash while racing for the lead in the closing moments of last Sunday's event at Canada's Mosport International Raceway. The original tub, chassis 405, sustained damage that could not be repaired in the three days before action began at Mid-Ohio, and Brad Kettler's crew of ace technicians worked virtually non-stop to have the new car ready for today's testing.


Quotes after the Race:

Johnny Herbert: "Passing the number one car at the end of the race shows what we are capable of. We just need things to go our way. We had some bad luck. The new set of tyres helped the handling a lot, but then the engine lost some power. We pitted, changed the black box and had to come in again to change the plug rail. After that the car was very competitive."

Andy Wallace: "During my stint I had no grip. The conditions were changing this weekend. We started with very high tyre pressure, but this did not work. When we changed, we reduced tyre pressure. This seemed to work better."

Next it's back to California and scenic Laguna Seca for the penultimate round of the 2001 ALMS.

  Top Five Finishers from Mid-Ohio:

1. (2) Jan Magnussen, Denmark; David Brabham, Australia; Panoz LMP1, 116laps

2. (1) Tom Kristensen, Denmark; Rinaldo Capello, Italy; Audi R8, 116

3. (7) James Weaver, England; Butch Leitzinger, State College, Penn.; Riley
& Scott MkIIIC-Lincoln, 116

4. (3) Frank Biela, Germany; Emanuele Pirro, Italy; Audi R8, 116

5. (4) Andy Wallace, England; Johnny Herbert, England; Audi R8, 115
  Wallace and Kettler Autographs for everyone at Mid-Ohio...      
  Herbert prepares his office   Keith and Bill (ignore the camera, Bill...) The paddock at Mid-Ohio  
  Post-Mosport modifications... Checking things out in raceday warmup Wallace with Weaver in hot pursuit Excellent spectator turnout at Mid-Ohio  
  Siggy and Bobby await the next pit stop Andy Wallace during wet test session Johnny Herbert exits the Keyhole in testing    
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