Champion Racing's latest Audi R8 prototype had its
15-17 January at the Michelin Tire tests at Sebring International
car, which Champion took official delivery of following these tests, was
primarily by Audi Sport driver Tom Kristensen, who is well familiar with
R8 variant, having driven one throughout the 2001 ALMS season, and Audi
engineers were present to oversee the testing.
The tire testing involved many, many sets of various types of Michelin
being fitted for a large number of runs over the three days at Sebring.
day started out quite dark and rainy, though clearing later in the day.
second day was mostly clear and bright, and Kristensen took advantage of
weather and tires to reel off a stunning 1:46.971 lap over Sebring's
full 3.7-mile circuit to unofficially take nearly two full seconds off
the existing track record, set by fellow Audi Sport driver Frank Biela
in qualifying for the 2000 12 Hours.
Much of the Sebring circuit has been repaved since last year's 12 Hours,
certainly contributed to the low lap times set by all cars present for
Three-time Sebring winner Andy Wallace, who drove Champion's
R8 throughout the 2001 ALMS season partnered by Johnny Herbert, did
the new car on both the second and third days, including several long
the third day. Asked how this R8 compared to his 2001 ride, Andy
the new car - which outwardly looks quite similar to the previous car -
a very different experience to drive.
Michelin testing complete, our new Audi R8 will be painted Champion
given its colorful trademark Dave Schnorr livery, while being thoroughly
for the 2002 American Le Mans Series season-opener at the
50th-Anniversary Sebring 12 Hours.