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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2001  

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

Champion Racing -  ALMS Texas
  Champion Audi R8 4th overall in Texas ALMS Debut  
  Wallace and Chroeder come to grips with the new R8 in fine style  

Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday, 4 March

Andy Wallace and Dorsey Schroeder brought Champion Racing's Audi R8 Le Mans Prototype home to 4th place overall Sunday at the American Le Mans Series season-opener at Texas Motor Speedway, barely one week after the car arrived in the United States.

Wallace had qualified the colorful 2000-spec Audi in 4th spot, during cold and damp conditions, but race day dawned sunny and much warmer than it had been all week. He had a quick and steady run in the early going, holding off Frank Biela in the 2001 Joest Audi for many laps, as Biela charged through the field from last place, where the car had started due to its qualifying time being disallowed.

Later in the exciting race, Andy had quite a running battle with the 2001-spec Panoz of Jan Magnussen, and later in the race Dorsey did a superb job of maintaining position against the onslaught of two different Panoz's. A late-race pitstop for fuel on Brabham's Panoz nearly allowed Dorsey to get past into third (and possibly an Audi 1-2-3 race finish), but Brabham's stop was quick enough that he returned to the track just yards ahead of the charging Schroeder, and the Panoz held on for the third podium spot.

Andy Wallace's comments after the race, "It was a great experience to drive the Champion Audi R8. It's a superb machine, and although we hadn't had an oportunity to try the car before arriving at the Texas track, we were immediately competitive. Of course it would have been nice to have scored a podium position in the race, but considering our lack of experience with the car, 4th place was an excellent result. The Team got to grips with their new machine very well, and I can't wait until the Sebring 12 hours next week!"

Team-owner, Dave Maraj, and the whole Champion crew are quite pleased with the good Texas finish, particularly with such a new and unfamiliar (to us) car, which ran nearly trouble-free. The team and drivers alike have learned a tremendous amount about the car now that they've actually raced it, and everyone has their list of tasks to be completed once the car returns to Champion's south-Florida shops. Just a few days to do it all though, as technical inspections for the next round, the 12 Hours of Sebring, get underway at the end of this week.

With Sebring being Champion's "home track", the team will be working harder than ever to secure a podium spot in the very demanding enduro on the rough Sebring circuit. This year's 12 Hours will be broadcast live, flag-to-flag, on Speedvision.

  Under pressure from Panoz Infield Traffic Champion R8 in for service at Texas Wallace through the chicane  
  Green Flag falls at Texas Champion R8 before the Start Dorsey safely home in 4th place Champion Pit Crew at Work  
  Schroeder Schroeder in the Texas infield Wallace negotiates the chicane Wallace leaving the Pits  
    Andy Wallace and the R8 Cockpit Wallace and Schroeder    
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