Lehto qualified for the 165-minute race on LMP900 class “pole”, third
place overall on the 33-car grid at Mosport but started the race
second when the Andy Wallace/Chris Dyson (Lola MG) began from the
pit-lane after an accident in the warm-up.
dove down the inside of the pole-starting James Weaver/Butch
Leitzinger (Lola MG) at Turn 1 at the start, both cars surviving
contact. Lehto trailed leader Weaver by five seconds with 22-minutes
run with Biela in the Joest Audi, a further five seconds adrift before
the first full course yellow appeared.
Biela stopped early, dropping to fifth, while Lehto slipped to sixth
when he stopped just before the race went “green” again after
14-minutes - both Audi R8s having taken on fuel and new tires. Within
two minutes, there was a second full course yellow, leader Weaver
stopping on this occasion for fuel, tires and handing over to
With 63-minutes on the clock, Biela led with Olivier Beretta/David
Saelens (Panoz) second, Lehto third and Leitzinger fourth, as the race
Lehto was “delayed” by the second-placed Panoz, the Audi losing out to
the brute force of the Panoz on the straights. But on 71-minutes,
Lehto dove through into second, quickly closed on Biela, and
brilliantly swept the ADT Champion Audi in to the lead on the next lap
as Leitzinger pitted with a battery problem.
mid-distance (82-minutes), the flying Lehto led Biela by 3.2-secs, the
Joest Audi showing signs of minor rear bodywork damage after the
Gunnar Jeannette/Scott Maxwell (Panoz) tagged it during the second
“yellow” necessitating an unscheduled stop for the second-placed
With an hour to run, JJ had extended his advantage to 11.5-secs over
Biela, with Saelens (Panoz) third a further 4.6-secs adrift. Lehto’s
reactions were tested to the full when a back-marker “locked up” in
front of him slowing for a corner, JJ having to drive on to the grass
with all four wheels before re-joining the track without damage and
Moments later (97-minutes) the race featured its third full course
yellow and while Biela shadowed Lehto as they both entered the pit
lane, Werner’s Joest Audi was the first to leave, both R8s having
taken on fuel and new tires with Herbert now in the Champion car.
Werner led Herbert by 4.9-secs with 45-minutes remaining, with only
the Beretta/Saelens (Panoz) on the same lap a further 32-secs back.
Johnny quickly moved menacingly on to Werner’s tail but time after
time, slower back-marker “traffic” influenced the dice for allowed
Werner to stay at the front.
disaster struck on lap 100, 19-minutes from the checker, when Herbert
- less than one second behind leader Werner, was forced wide over a
high kerb to avoid a backmarker. Herbert brought the Audi in to pits
with right front suspension damage.
team made repairs, getting Herbert back in the race with minutes to
spare to take the checker, 20th overall and 13-laps behind
the winning Werner/Biela Audi when Johnny had to serve a stop-go
penalty on the last lap.