Audi close in on title in America - Friday, August 17, 2007
Ingolstadt, 17 August 2007
American Le Mans Series with two races in seven days
Audi Sport North America with TDI Power on course for title
“Home race” for Audi in Detroit
The final sprint in the American Le Mans Series starts with two races within one week. On Sunday (26 August), the world’s fastest sportscars start at Mosport close to Toronto (Canada). ‘Motor Town’ Detroit (Michigan state) hosts the popular sportscar racing series the following Saturday.
Audi has excellent chances of clinching the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ titles early at either Mosport or Detroit. The Audi R10 TDI, which produces almost 650 hp, is still unbeaten in its class and, with eight wins and seven second-places this year, the most successful car in the American Le Mans Series, followed by the Chevrolet Corvette (eight wins, six second-places) and the Porsche RS Spyder (seven wins, six second-places). For Audi, it would be the eighth successive title in America and the second with TDI Power.
In the Drivers’ Championship, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish hold a 22 point lead over team-mates Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner with four races to go. All four Audi drivers are looking forward to both the Canadian ‘away’ race in the American Le Mans Series and the ‘home’ race in Detroit.
Audi of America has its headquarters in Auburn Hills approximately 30 miles from the circuit, which is situated on an island in the Detroit River. The "Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix" was last held in 2001 and now brings motorsport back to the heart of the American metropolis. Detroit is the fourth street circuit for the Audi R10 TDI after St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Houston.
Quotes before the next two races
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Mosport and Detroit are again two circuits on which the LM P2 cars will be at an advantage as a result of their lower weight – at least this is what our computer simulations indicate. However, we want not settle for class wins and aim to put a stop to the LM P2 cars winning streak. The race in Detroit will be special for Audi: For the first time we compete on the doorstep of Audi of America."
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "Mosport is a beautiful and very fast circuit. Unfortunately, there isn’t such a long straight as there was at Road America where we were able to make up a lot of time on the lighter LM P2 cars. It’s difficult to say anything about Detroit. The circuit layout looks good. However, street circuits with a concrete slab surface are not exactly ideal for our Audi R10 TDI. But the conditions were similar in Houston where we had the speed to win the race. So, I hope that things well be the same in Detroit."
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1): "The circuits at Mosport and in Detroit could hardly be more different: Mosport with its fluid track layout is extremely fast, Detroit a classic tight and slow street circuit. Dindo (Capello) and I have great memories of Mosport. We won an incredibly exciting race there in 2000 – it was the closest finish in American Le Mans Series history. At Mosport last year we won the title with two rounds to spare. I visited the track in Detroit just before travelling on to Road America a few weeks ago. One thing is certain: The spectators can look forward to a spectacular race."
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2): "The Mosport circuit and its array of extremely fast corners is a big challenge which, as a driver, I am really looking forward to. It’s fantastic to drive, particularly with our R10 TDI which generates lots of downforce and is therefore very good in the fast corners. Detroit is a new circuit for us. It’s almost a home race because Audi of America is based in Detroit. In spite of the handicaps our car has, we will do everything possible to put in a strong performance there."
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "I’ll be driving the R10 TDI for the first time in Mosport. I’m looking forward to it because the circuit is interesting. There are plenty of fast sections which suit our car. There are, however, two or three very slow corners in which the LM P2 cars have an advantage. Detroit is something totally new and, on top of this, a street circuit of the type I really like. The R10 TDI performed much better on the previous street circuits than we’d expected. I hope that this is also the case in Detroit."
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "Both the entire team and Audi Sport are working extremely hard to better compensate for the handicaps we have compared to the LM P2 Sportscars. In addition, we must also see that we don’t lose so much time when refuelling. We are looking at ways to change this. We’d particularly like to beat the Penske-Porsche in Detroit – after all, the race is organised by Penske."
The schedule at Mosport
Friday, 24 August
14:25 – 14:55 Test session (GT1 / GT2)
14:55 – 15:55 Test session (all classes)
15:55 – 16:25 Test session (LM P1 / LM P2)
Saturday, 25 August
10:10 – 11:10 Practice 1
13:30 – 14:30 Practice 2
14:40 – 15:00 Qualifying (GT1 / GT2)
15:10 – 15:30 Qualifying (LM P1 / LM P2)
Sunday, 26 August
10:35 – 11:00 Warm-up
15:04 – 17:49 Race
The schedule in Detroit
Friday, 31 August
08:40 – 10:10 Practice 1
15:20 – 16:20 Practice 2
16:30 – 16:50 Qualifying (GT1 / GT2)
17:00 – 17:20 Qualifying (LM P1 / LM P2)
Saturday, 1 September
10:10 – 10:40 Warm-up
15:15 – 18:00 Race
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