POMPANO BEACH, FL. (July 27, 2005) – The Portland Grand Prix, Round 6 of the 2005 American Le Mans Series, will play host to a two-hour, 45-minute sprint race on Saturday evening versus its usual Sunday afternoon racing format. Fans of Audi Sport North America and Team ADT Champion Racing will have the opportunity to view a primetime broadcast of The Portland Grand Prix from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.
"By placing the ALMS in prime time on a Saturday night in July we are potentially exposing our truly world-class sports car racing to a new audience while at the same time giving our existing fans something many have asked about,” commented Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. “Other forms of motorsports have had success racing under lights in prime time," Atherton added. "The American Le Mans Series cars are specifically designed to race with just their headlights. It makes for very dramatic imagery on television."
For Team ADT Champion Racing, this means an all new set-up and strategy for both the No. 1 and No. 2 Audi R8 racecars. The 1.944-mile, 12-turn road course provided one of the most exciting ALMS races last year. Defending race Champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner (Audi R8 No. 1) won last year’s Portland Grand Prix under intense pressure from their biggest rival, Dyson Racing. The battle will surely be resurrected this year but with an additional player, the sister Audi R8 piloted by Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro (Audi R8 No. 2). While it’s been a few years since these teammates have driven the circuit (2001) Biela and Pirro come to Portland fresh from their win at Infineon Raceway and highly motivated to continue their winning streak.
This marks the fourth visit to Portland International Raceway for the ALMS in its seven-year history. The Rose City has been a favorite among fans and drivers alike, and this year promises to be no different.
The Portland Grand Prix is set for Thursday through Saturday at Portland International Raceway. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT Saturday, the first time an ALMS race has been broadcast in prime time. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:55 to 3:40 p.m. PDT on Friday. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #1
JJ Lehto (Fin). Age: 39. Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
“We had a good race here last year. It was full of action although I doubt it will be like that this year. All the teams are very well sorted right now, especially the LMP1 teams so all cars on the track are going really fast. Tire selection will again be very important here as the track is very slippery. We learned from last year what not to do so this year we’ll be trying some new things. It should be interesting.”
Marco Werner (D). Age: 38. Born: Dortmund, Germany. Lives: Ermatingen, Switzerland:
“We had a really nice battle here last year with the Dyson Team so I expect it will be interesting again. The track is not one of our most difficult tracks so that means the cars are fast and the racing will be real close. I’m fortunate in that I am driving an Audi because this will be a long race for us, (2:45 minutes) and if we do have trouble like we did last year, the Audi is tough, real tough. Hopefully we can do this race without any trouble.”
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #2
Frank Biela (D). Age: 40. Born: Neuss, Germany. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
“Racing at Portland was a long time ago for me, 2001. I remember it being a nice circuit and I look forward to seeing it again. The Championship is still open so we need to achieve a good result. The last race went very well and Emanuele and I hope to continue the trend. We hope to be competitive as we were in the last few races. We still have five races to go, including Portland, so it will be close.”
Emanuele Pirro (It). Age: 43. Born: Rome, Italy. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
“I am very much looking forward to this race. We are coming from a positive period and now our Championship hopes are as alive as ever so we need to confirm it with another good result. Although Portland is not one of my favorite tracks (little grip and very bumpy) I haven’t been here since 2001 so maybe it’s changed some. This weekend will be a little more difficult for Frank and myself because our race engineer will not be here. It will be a new situation for us, which we hope we can compensate with our experience. Frank and I are motivated though.”
1) Marco Werner 87
JJ Lehto 87
2) Emanuele Pirro 84
Frank Biela 84
3) Andy Wallace 77
4) Chris Dyson 74
5) James Weaver 72
Butch Leitzinger 72
LMP1 Chassis Manufacturer
1) Audi 99
2) Lola 84
3) Zytek 10
LMP1 Engine Manufacturer
1) Audi 99
2) AER 84
3) Zytek 10
For more information on Audi motorsports visit www.audiusa.com. For more information on Champion Racing, visit www.championracing.net.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Grunnah, Audi Sport North America Public Relations
Audi Sport North America/Champion Racing
Tel. (678) 556-0611
Fax (678) 556-0785
Cell (678) 642-5795