BRASELTON, Ga. (September 25, 2004) -
Teammates JJ Lehto (Finland) and Marco Werner (Germany), drivers of the
No. 38 Audi R8 for Team ADT Champion Racing, celebrated their 2nd
consecutive victory at the 6th annual Petit Le Mans as well as earning
their 6th victory in the American Le Mans Series today during the 9:35
minute, 394-lap race at Road Atlanta. The No .2 "sister" car driven by
Johnny Herbert (England) and Pierre Kaffer (Germany) finished in 2nd
place with a gap of 3 laps.
Track conditions today were ideal for the
thousands of fans that packed the hilly terrain of Road Atlanta.
Michelin engineers reported sunny skies with an air temperature of 75
degrees at noon, which climbed to 90 degrees as the day progressed.
Werner started in 4th position directly behind
the other Audi driven by Kaffer but immediately passed him on the first
lap. Eight laps later, Werner again passed the 2nd placed leader of
Clint Field in the Intersport car on his quest to hunt down the leading
Dyson Car of James Weaver. Just a short one hour into the endurance
race, Werner accomplished his goal. The No. 38 charged hard and never
relinquished the lead. Teammates Lehto and Werner drove a clean, problem
free race towards a very important victory. The win by this duo also
earns Champion Racing their first Team Championship as well as Audi's
5th Manufacturers' Championship in the American Le Mans Series.
"The Champion guys really put it together,"
said Rod Bymaster, Motorsports Manager for Audi of America. "It was nice
to see them integrate the second car. Now we can get ready for next
year. I'm so happy for Dave Maraj and Champion Racing. They really
earned these rewards."
The No.2 car of Herbert and Kaffer had a
magnificent run as well only experiencing a couple of minor situations
throughout the race. Herbert had to serve a stop and go penalty for
contact Kaffer had encountered earlier with a Ferrari causing a full
course caution. Then about five hours later in the race, Herbert
encountered oil and braked hard at Turn 10a and slid into the gravel
area. The safety crew towed him out; Herbert fired up the Audi R8 and
came into the pits for a tire change only. This was Herbert's 4th Petit
Le Mans (winning it twice) and Kaffer's first.
The next and final event on the American Le
Mans Series schedule will be the Fry's Electronics Sports Car
Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 14 - 16. Team ADT
Champion Racing will again run a two-car team with the same drivers.
JJ Lehto (Finland): "It's a big evening for
Champion Racing and for Audi. We achieved all our goals and now we can
just enjoy it for the last race. We had a great set-up and it was fun
having two cars. I had a lot of fun!"
Marco Werner (Germany): "I'm very proud to be
in the Audi family, a lot of victories and records for us. The Champion
Team worked very hard and very well. Today everything was great for us;
the pit stops, the strategy, and JJ too had a great race."
Johnny Herbert (England): "In the closing
stages I slid off on oil and almost immediately had to make a couple of
unscheduled pit-stops because of a fuel leak. We were comfortably in
second place, a lap adrift of #38 but well clear of the third-place car,
so it wasn't a big problem. Our race crew did a good job - it just
wasn't our day - but an ADT Champion Audi 1-2 nevertheless."
Pierre Kaffer (Germany): "After two hours our
car had to serve a stop-go penalty which lost us a lap to #38. I
disagreed with the decision by the officials when a Ferrari and I
touched but in my opinion it was a racing accident. The collision also
damaged the left side pod which affected the balance for the rest of the
race but it was a satisfying result."
Brad Kettler (Technical Director): "I am very
proud of this team, especially for putting out two cars under very short
notice. The boys shook off the last hurricane that knocked us out of the
saddle for almost a week. We showed what a good technical team we are
today. We owe a lot to Audi Sport Ingolstadt because of the people they
supplied to help make the second car possible. Both cars had the
potential to win and both were technically perfect without a single
problem on one of them all day long."
DRIVERS TEAM TIME/DIFFERENCE
1) J. Lehto/M. Werner ADT Champion
2) J. Herber/P. Kaffer ADT Champion
Racing 3 laps
3) C. Dyson/J. Lammers Dyson Racing 11
4) O. Gavin/O. Beretta/ Corvette
Racing 18 laps
5) R. Fellows/J. O'Connell Corvette
Racing 19 laps
Margin of victory: 3 laps
Time of Race: 9:35:41.562
Average race speed: 104.301
Fastest Driver: LMP 1: JJ Lehto