St Petersburg, 31 March 2007
Audi’s Diesel sports car claims tenth consecutive victory
R10 TDI proves to be worthy “street fighter” in St Petersburg
The Audi R10 TDI has immediately proven to be a first class "street fighter” by claiming first and second positions on the pioneering Diesel sports car’s street course début. Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) led home the "sister” Audi Sport North America R10 TDI of Emanuele Pirro (Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany) by just 0.426secs after 114 dramatic laps in the second round of the American Le Mans Series in St. Petersburg (US state of Florida).
Allan McNish started from the second row of the 24-car grid with Marco Werner (Germany) on row four for the 2:45 hours, inaugural St Petersburg race on Saturday evening. McNish snatched the lead immediately at the green light on the 1.8-mile temporary track in the city located beside the Florida city’s habourside but organisers deemed the manoeuvre a jump start, the Scotsman serving a stop-go penalty on lap four.
McNish charged back in to the lead after 21mins and after 47mins, Werner made it an Audi 1-2. Capello took over from McNish in the leading #1 Audi after 80mins during a full course yellow, Werner not stopping to inherit the lead from Capello. Pirro resumed in fifth place when Werner made a scheduled full service on 1:50hr while Capello, who went back into the lead after Werner pitted, made a "splash and dash” for diesel with 45mins to run without losing the lead. A final caution period produced a nail-biting and tense "five-minute race” to the chequered flag between the two Audis.
Note to the editors: A complete St Pete race report with quotes of all Audi drivers will follow.