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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2003  

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


Champion Racing  - 2003 Le Mans Tests


Test Brief and Quotes

4 May - ADT/Champion Racing proudly and successfully flew the “Star & Stripes” in France today.  The Pompano Beach, Florida-based team set the fifth fastest time in warm-up trials for the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance sportscar race.

 Emanuele Pirro swept its “customer” Audi R8 around the 8.62-mile circuit at an average speed of over 135mph in a time of 3min 39.077.  56-cars were “invited” to participate in two, four-hour test sessions held in sunny and warm weather conditions.  Champion Racing, a regular competitor in the American Le Mans Series, was one of 15 American teams present.


Pirro will be partnered by JJ Lehto and Stefan Johansson in the actual round-the-clock race staged on 14-15 June.  The was set fastest time set by the Bentley of Tom Kristensen/Guy Smith/Rinaldo Capello (3:34.820).


Stefan Johansson (46), of Sweden:  “Mission accomplished!  We had a very productive day, went through many evaluations concerning fuel and tires which should bode well for us in the race.”

JJ Lehto (36), of Finland:  “We followed a specific program that we needed to accomplish during the day.  All the drivers are happy with our car.  We can return in June with a very good car for the race.”


Emanuele Pirro (41), of Italy:  “I am quite happy.  The track was never clear for us to set a really fast lap.  Importantly, we have gathered important information for race.”


Brad Kettler, Technical Director:  “We made progress throughout the day and feel in general it was a successful test.  We worked through aero, fuel and tire issues and ended up with a what I believe to be a very competitive car that offers good fuel economy and can triple stint its tires – I’m satisfied.”


Rod Bymaster, Motorsport Manager for Audi Sport North America:  “I think the test session went well.  We anticipated the Bentley cars to be fast but now the real race comes.  Most importantly, we’ve got the fuel mileage advantage and the easy repairability factor of the Audi R8s.”

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