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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2002  
   
 

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

 
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  ALMS Mosport  
     
 

Race Day News and Photos

 
     
 

Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (18 August) -- In a day of mixed emotions for the ADT/Champion Audi team, Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson took second place honors in the mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport, at Mosport International Raceway. ADT/Champion also won their sixth IMSA Cup of the season as highest-finishing Privateer. The race was won by the #2 Joest Racing Audi of Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello.

The second-place finish for Herbert, combined with a DNF for the #1 Joest Audi of Emanuelle Pirro and Frank Biela, moved Herbert up to third place in the American Le Mans Series LMP-900 Drivers points with three races remaining in the season. Pirro suffered a high-speed impact at turn eight in the closing stages of the race, while battling with the Joest team car for the lead, but was examined and released from a local hospital after the crash.

Stefan Johansson started the fifth race of this extended road trip (which began in June at Mid-Ohio) from third on the grid, following Johnny Herbert's excellent qualifying effort which just nipped JJ Lehto's Cadillac Northstar for the spot in the closing stages of Qualifying on Saturday. Champion's race planners were well aware that Lehto would be vying for the position soon after the start, and as anticipated Lehto dove into third in the first corner after the start.

Once again, the team worked on race strategy, pitting Johansson for fuel when an early full-course caution period was called just fifteen minutes into the race. The high-speed Mosport circuit meant the team would need two full stops plus a splash of fuel near the end, and decided to take the splash up front in case another yellow didn't present itself later on. The ground Johansson lost during the stop was quickly made up, and but for a whole spate of late-race caution periods the tactic could well have met with success.

Another full-course caution near the race's one-hour mark allowed Johansson to pit for the handover to Johnny Herbert, who rejoined the battle with four fresh Michelins and a full load of fuel. Herbert quickly reeled-in the third-place Cadillac, and once past, set off after the leading pair of factory Audis. But at about the one hour, 30-minute point in the race the #0 Ferrari turned in on Herbert as the pair went into Turn Ten, the resulting contact spinning the Ferrari, which was able to continue undamaged. Despite this, Herbert was given a stop-and-go penalty for "rough driving".

Johnny pitted to serve this questionable penalty just before the two-hour mark, and then immediately pitted again for his final fuel stop (it is not allowed to serve a penalty and perform service to the car in the same stop). He took fuel only, but the combined two stops put Herbert a lap down to the factory cars. But even as Herbert was being serviced came the big shunt that put Pirro's #1 Audi out of the race. So although a lap down, the ADT/Champion Audi moved up to second place.

A seventeen-minute caution period followed for the Pirro accident. Shortly after the restart, Herbert passed leader Tom Kristensen to regain the lead lap, but could not make substantial ground on the faster Joest Audi. As Herbert tried to escape the pursuing Kristensen, two separate incidents involving a crashed Porsche failed to bring out another caution flag. This was a big disappointment to the Champion team, as a caution would have allowed Herbert to make up the nearly full lap between himself and Kristensen, and allowed Johnny to battle for the outright win.

But in yet another stroke of bad racing luck, still another crashing Porsche did bring out the race's final full-course caution - just seconds after Kristensen has repassed Herbert to put him back a lap down. Thus the caution was of no benefit at all to Herbert, except to deprive him of any further opportunity to challenge Kristensen. With just minutes remaining in the timed race and having a full lap on the third-placed Cadillac, Herbert backed off the charge to bring the ADT/Champion Audi R8 home safely to the team's second runner-up finish of the season, and the first since Sebring in March. While the team are greatly disappointed at the way the Mosport race played out, they will be pulling out all the stops to keep Herbert third on Drivers points, which will not be an easy task.

With the next race at Laguna Seca a month off, the Champion Racing transport trucks can finally come back home to south Florida after their extended two-month road
trip. The R8 and all of its components will be rebuilt and its bodywork given fresh paint and graphics before the final run of three races, culminating with the ALMS season finale at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 12th.

 
     
 

Results from ALMS Mosport:

1 - Rinaldo Capello/Tom Kristensen; Audi R8, 121 laps

2 - Stefan Johansson/Johnny Herbert; Audi R8, 120

3 - JJ Lehto/Max Angelelli; Cadillac Northstar LMP 02, 119

4 - David Brabham/Jan Magnussen; Panoz LMP-1, 118

5 - Bill Auberlen/Bryan Herta; Panoz LMP-1, 118

6 - Eric Bernard/Emmanuel Collard; Cadillac Northstar LMP 02, 118

 
     
 
Johnny and Stefan treat our young Canadian friend Cullen Lampman to some team goodies, as mom Susan looks on. Champion were proud to host 3 year-old race fan Cullen, who is fighting Luekemia
   
These Johnny Herbert fans clearly displayed their sentiments along the front straight before the start...
   
...and Johnny was happy to endorse their wish!
   
Kiwi, Ricky and (especially) Keith seem happy enough, but Bobby needs to renegotiate their Hawaiian Tropic girl-to-crewman ratio...
   
Dr. Ulrich and Johnny Herbert chat across the pit wall on the starting grid
   
Pre-race ceremonies included bagpipes and drums
   
The green flag waves at Mosport, and the field storms into turn one, Stefan Johansson starting third
   
As the team had anticipated, JJ Lehto moves into third quickly after the start
   
Johansson works his way back up through traffic after a tactical early fuel stop during an early caution period
   
Not long into the race, our little friend Cullen is sound asleep in the arms of his dad, Wayne
   
Johnny Herbert makes quick work of putting the ADT/Champion Audi in the top three, after relieving Johansson during a caution near the one-hour mark
   
Final pit stop, and Michelin Engineer Perry Hyder gives "thumbs up" to a second stint on the tires
   
Kaye watches the monitors as Olaf and Marcus crunch the numbers
   
Siggi smiles! (now we have proof...)
   
The ADT/Champion team's hopes of challenging for the Mosport win end with (another) controversial late-race penalty
   
Safe in second place - but a lap down to the leader with just minutes remaining - Johnny Herbert exits Turn Ten
   
Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson hoist the Mosport hardware
   
The Champagne flies at Mosport
   
The ADT/Champion crew celebrate the addition of another IMSA Cup to their growing collection
 
     
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