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  Archive of Audi R8 Race Reports/News/Photos 2005  
   
 

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

 
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  Team ADT Champion Racing scores third consecutive win at Petit Le Mans - Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro clinch alms driver's championship  
     
 

RASELTON, GA. (October 1, 2005) - It was a "good news, bad news" day for Team ADT Champion Racing. The good news being Team ADT Champion racing scoring the hat trick at Petit Le Mans when the No. 2 Audi R8 crossed the finish line in first position. The other good news was that the drivers of this No. 2 Audi R8, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, earned their second American Le Mans Series Driver's Championship. Pirro won his first ALMS Driver Championship in 2001 and Biela earned his in 2003.

The "bad news" occurred with the No. 1 Audi R8 and defending ALMS Driver Champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner. When the green flag dropped at 11:20 a.m., Lehto in the front row charged hard into Turn 1 trying to overtake the pole-sitter Hayanari Schimoda in the Zytek car. As Lehto was about to make the pass, he was hit in the side and rear by the Zytek and punted off the track. Part of the problem had to do with the No. 16 Dyson car (James Weaver) trying to squeeze inside both cars and ultimately shoving both off as they went three-wide going into Turn 1.

JJ Lehto was not pleased. "Schimoda (Zytek) was very slow into the first corner and was braking far too early. So I took the outside line, James Weaver (Dyson) took the inside, and then Shimoda moved over on me. I was outside and I was already ahead of them but I was the one who got collected."

For this incident the crew for the No. 1 Audi replaced both front corners, the nose box and the clutch master. There was no structural damage to the car as only bolt on parts were replaced. Troubles would not end there for the No. 1 team.

After fighting feverishly to make up lost time (30 laps/45 minutes) and climbing back into third position in the P1 class, Lehto was touched a second time by Tomas Enge in an Aston Martin as the two cars headed into the Esses on lap 240. Lehto had to return to the pits and have the tow linkage in the left rear replaced. Fortunately, the repair time was minimal and Lehto was back on the track in a flash.

At the end of the 9:16 hour race, Lehto and Werner had to settle for 3rd in the LMP1 class and 7th overall.

Team ADT Champion Racing now has the privilege of claiming wins at the three most prestigious sports car races in the world: the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans.

And finally, the Audi R8 once again continues it's winning tradition at Petit Le Mans by earning its sixth consecutive victory. The Audi R8 has never been beaten at Petit Le Mans since it made its first appearance in 2000.

"Congratulations to Team ADT Champion Racing and to Frank and Emanuele for winning the Driver's Championship," commented Rod Bymaster, Motorsports Manager, Audi of America. "Both teams performed very well given their own circumstances. The No. 2 team should be extremely proud of how well they have learned and executed operating an Audi R8. They've done a magnificent job this year."

DRIVER QUOTES:

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #1

JJ Lehto (Fin). Age: 39. Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
"We were just unlucky today. The crew did an excellent job in repairing the car. First lap out the car was fine. And then we just went for it. We had to charge hard because the team did the job in the paddock so we had to do our best job on the track. Finishing third after all that isn't so bad and we still have the opportunity to finish second in the Championship."

Marco Werner (D). Age: 38. Born: Dortmund, Germany. Lives: Ermatingen, Switzerland:
"My thanks to my crew for how well they repaired the our car. We were able to get excellent lap times after their incredible work. We still continued to push very hard because in a 10-hour race, you just never know. Congratulations to the No. 2 team."

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #2

Frank Biela (D). Age: 40. Born: Neuss, Germany. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
"I'm very happy for Champion Racing and Dave Maraj. It was a fantastic year and we still have one race to go. I can't remember when I have had so much fun. The race today was tough since the main competition was out early, it was much easier for us than we expected."

Emanuele Pirro (It). Age: 43. Born: Rome, Italy. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
"We came to Champion Racing with a lot to learn. It took a couple of races to get into the groove and then we became competitive and we started to focus on the Championship. I'm very happy the R8 won this race. I won the first race with the R8 (Sebring 2000) the first 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now I've won the Driver Championship and the last big race of the year. Now the Audi R8 can retire. Also, this crew has had the biggest commitment from the beginning and they truly have set the example as to how to win a Championship."

DRIVERS CLASS TEAM DIFF.
1) E.Pirro/F.Biela/ LMP1 ADT Champion Racing 394 laps
2) C.Dyson/G.Smith LMP1 Dyson Racing 382 laps
3) O.Beretta/O.Gavin GT1 Corvette Racing 379 laps
J.Magnussen
4) D.Brabham/D.Turner GT1 Aston Martin Racing 378 laps
J.Kane
7) J.Lehto/M.Werner LMP1 ADT Champion Racing 372 laps

 
     
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