POMPANO BEACH, Fl. (October
11, 2004) - Team ADT Champion Racing, still celebrating their
"Triple Crown" Championship wins from last month's 1-2 finish at
Petit Le Mans, will maintain its competitive nature for the final
race of the American Le Mans Series season this weekend as the
Champion squad will again field two Audi R8 entries for the Audi
Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey,
California, October 14-16. Season regulars JJ Lehto and Marco Werner
will pilot the No. 38 Audi R8 and Johnny Herbert and Pierre Kaffer
return as co-drivers for the No. 2 Audi R8.
Teammates JJ Lehto and Marco Werner have
already clinched the American Le Mans Series driving title for 2004
in record-setting fashion, and have helped their team, ADT Champion
Racing from Pompano Beach, Florida, win its first American Le Mans
Series team title. In addition, they have helped Audi win its fifth
straight ALMS Manufacturer's Championship in the top LMP1 class.
In their first season together as
co-drivers, Lehto and Werner hope to win their seventh race, a mark
that would break the series' record for the most overall race wins
in a single season. Their win in the most recent event, Petit Le
Mans at Road Atlanta on September 25, was their sixth in eight races
this season and tied the record that was set in 2000 by Rinaldo
Capello and Allan McNish with the former factory Audi team.
Lehto, from Finland, has been racing in the
ALMS since the formation of the series in 1999. While racing for the
former BMW factory team, the former Formula One driver was part of
the overall-winning team in the inaugural ALMS event at Sebring,
Florida, that year and has enjoyed a stellar ALMS career, one of the
highlights coming this season as he won his first driving title.
Germany's Werner has had a brief but
remarkable career in the ALMS. Despite limited experience in
Prototype race cars prior to last year, Werner won the LMP1 driving
title with Frank Biela in 2003, his first season in the series, and
was victorious in his first-ever ALMS event at Sebring. After
spending last season with Infineon Team Joest, the Audi factory
driver switched to the ADT Champion Racing team this season and won
his second title in two tries.
Some of the accomplishments of Lehto and
Werner this season include:
· Lehto's winning ways in 2004 have placed
him atop two categories in the all-time statistics of the ALMS. He
now holds the series records for the most overall race wins (16) and
the most LMP1 class race wins (16). He caught and passed Biela for
both records this season, Biela having taken his 15th LMP1 win (and
14th overall win) in the 2004 season opener at Sebring. Biela has
been racing in Europe this season in the DTM series for touring
· Werner has one of the best winning
percentages of any driver in any form of racing. His ALMS career
consists of 17 races and he has scored wins in 11 of them, a 65
percent record of winning, in addition to winning driving titles in
· Lehto's win in the Petit Le Mans was his
20th career win in the ALMS, moving him into a tie with Ron Fellows
and Johnny O'Connell for second place on the series' all-time career
wins list. Four of Lehto's wins came in the GT class in 2001. He is
only the fourth driver in series history to reach the 20-win
· Lehto has competed in 47 of the 55 ALMS
races that have been held since the formation of the series, tied
for third on the career starts list with Ron Fellows and Jan
· In his 47 ALMS starts, Lehto has finished
on the podium (top three) 40 times, the most of any driver.
For the first time in its long history,
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will host an event that runs into darkness
when the American Le Mans Series begins its timed event of four
hours at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 16. Long before the event ends
at 8 p.m., darkness will have descended upon the Monterey Peninsula
and the ALMS drivers will circulate the 2.238-mile track aided only
by their headlight beams and whatever ambient lighting there is
around the circuit.
The Audi Sports Car Championships event at
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will get the green flag at 4 p.m. (PDT) on
Saturday, October 16. The American Le Mans Series Radio Network will
have live coverage that can be heard online at
In North America, NBC Sports will have
coverage of the event on a one-day tape delay beginning at 2 p.m.
(EDT) on Sunday, October 17.
Marco Werner (Germany). "Like Atlanta,
Laguna is another of the nice ALMS tracks that we visit, especially
with the corkscrew, but because it's an evening race with 2 hours in
the light and 2 in the dark, I think the track will not be so easy.
This is the last race of the season for us, which is a shame because
I would like to do some more! But I hope I can come back next year
for another season."
JJ Lehto (Finland). "We had a lot of
problems with the car last year in the race which ended up having to
change the gearbox all of which put us behind in the chase for the
championship. This year the championship is already decided, but
it's going to be a new experience with a four hour race going into
the night, but I'm looking forward to it."