Audi R10 TDI shines at Mid-Ohio - Sunday, July 22, 2007
Mid-Ohio, 21 July 2007
Second win of the season for Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner
Audi R10 TDI 67 of 134 laps in the lead
Longer stops for refuelling prevent overall victory
The Audi R10 TDI remains undefeated in the American Le Mans Series. In the seventh round at Mid-Ohio, Team Audi Sport North America achieved a commanding 1-2 victory in the LM P1 class. Emanuele Pirro (Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany) finished third overall missing the outright victory by just 15.073 seconds. Their team-mates Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) came home in fifth position and second in the LM P1 class.
The Audi R10 TDI made life difficult for the 150-kilograms lighter LM P2 sports cars at Mid-Ohio. On the opening lap, Emanuele Pirro cannoned himself from eighth on the grid to third position. It took the Audi driver just seven laps to also pass the two "factory" Porsches with great manouvres thus taking the overall lead. During the first hour, Pirro was able to open a lead of more than 10 seconds.
Marco Werner showed a similar strong performance after taking over the #2 Audi R10 TDI from Pirro. The German also needed only a few laps to regain the lead which had been lost during the first pit-stop.
Despite being longer in the lead than every other car (67 of 134 laps) and having the fastest car for much of the race Pirro/Werner, however, in the end had to settle for third overall because the refuelling stops of the LM P2 cars were much shorter than the ones of the R10 TDI Ė a consequence of the regulations which this year forces diesel sports cars to run with nine litre smaller fuel tanks.
Dindo Capello and Allan McNish lost all chance for victory as early as on the opening lap when Capello was pushed off the track by a LM P2 car into a tyre wall. The #1 Audi R10 TDI dropped to the back of the field. On top of that the damaged front bodywork had to be changed during the first pit stop. Consistent fast lap times allowed Allan McNish to get back onto the lead lap.
Dindo Capello and McNish retained their lead in the Driversí Championship. For Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner it was the best result since the St Petersburg race in April and the end of a long period of bad luck.
Quotes after the race
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The R10 TDI was once again the dominating LM P1 car. However, the much lighter LM P2 cars had a track-related advantage also at Mid-Ohio. On such tracks the weight difference between the LM P1 and LM P2 cars is simply too big. On top of that we have the disadvantage of a smaller fuel tank which was race-decisive today."
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2): "This was a really great race. As we thought we had a good race set-up. After the first stint I was hoping we could make it to the finish in first position overall. But with the smaller fuel tank we are really penalized. The Porsches beat us in the pits due to their bigger tanks and needing less fuel. Apart from that Iím really pleased with our performance. All our stints were really good. On such a race track this was the best result we could hope for."
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "Generally this was a great race. At the beginning everything looked great for us. Emanuele (Pirro) had a superb start, he really pushed and passed many cars taking the lead. After the first stop I was able to bring the car again to the front. However, at the second stop we simply lost too much time during refuelling. Thatís how the regulations are. Today we lost the race in the pits because the car and the tyres were perfect."
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "What happened at the start of the race was very bad Ė our race was immediately destroyed. We knew that we had a very competitive car for the race, one that could have allowed us to fight for outright victory. That is precisely why I wasnít prepared to take any risks at the start. Stefan Johansson was aggressive at the green light and I gave him sufficient room. I was really surprised when he moved over on me and forced me off the track Ė I thought someone must have pushed him in to me. My car was then undriveable Ė it was a struggle due to the damaged nose section. Especially in the slow corners I had no grip."
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1): "A new nose section was fitted on the car when I took over from Dindo (Capello). I was really able to push hard and my lap times were quick, fast in traffic, allowing me to unlap myself. This showed what we could have been capable of had we not suffered at the start Ė we could have won this race. It was obviously unsatisfactory that Dindo got taken out unnecessarily Ė Stefan (Johansson) had enough room to make the manoeuvre without compromising us. So while disappointed, Iím encouraged that we seem to have got back some of our speed in race trim in comparison to recent races which is good for future."
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "This was quite an exciting race. Iím a little bit disappointed we werenít able to get the overall victory. But itís quite obvious that the smaller fuel capacity is hurting us. Porsche was able to short fill and beat us twice out of the pits."
The results at Mid-Ohio
1 Dumas/Bernhard (Porsche) 134 laps in 2h 46m 01.062s
2 Maassen/Briscoe (Porsche) + 2.360s
3 Pirro/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) + 15.073s (1st in LM P1)
4 Fernandez/Diaz (Acura/Honda) + 39.352s
5 Capello/McNish (Audi R10 TDI) + 1m 04.633s (2nd in LM P1)
6 Wallace/Leitzinger (Porsche) - 1 lap
7 Dyson/Smith (Porsche) - 1 lap
8 Brabham/Johansson (Acura/Honda) - 2 laps
9 Pickett/Graf (Lola-AER) - 6 laps (3rd in LM P1)
10 Herta/Franchitti (Acura/Honda) - 8 laps