Audi remains unbeaten in LM P1 class - Monday, August 27, 2007 at 04:56

Ingolstadt, 27 August 2007

Audi remains unbeaten in LM P1 class

  • Audi Sport North America wins Team Championship
  • Allan McNish/Dindo Capello miss out on overall victory
  • 50th ALMS race for Dindo Capello
    In round nine of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the Audi R10 TDI remains unbeaten: Allan McNish (Scotland) and Dindo Capello (Italy) scored an LM P1 category victory ahead of their team mates Marco Werner (Germany) and Emanuele Pirro (Italy) at Mosport (Canada). During almost the entire race, the Audi R10 TDI led outright in front of the lighter LM P2 sports cars. But at the end of the race due to a technical problem, Allan McNish lost the overall victory to Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas (Porsche). With the positions one and two in the LM P1 category, Audi Sport North America clinched the LM P1 Team Championship with three races remaining.
    Dindo Capello, who started from pole position, led the "sister" Audi of Emanuele Pirro for a long time in the early stages. Capello, who celebrated his 50th American Le Mans start in Mosport, handed over his leading R10 TDI to team mate Allan McNish after one hour. Following the final pit stop phase, McNish was comfortably in the lead until he fell to second position with five minutes to run due to a gearbox problem he encountered in the final quarter of an hour.
    When Marco Werner took over the #2 Audi R10 TDI from Emanuele Pirro after 70mins, he was not able to exit the pits in front of the pace car and lost one lap to the leading cars. Resuming in eighth position, Werner swept back up to fourth position overall and second place in the LM P1 class, shattering the lap record en route.
    The tenth round of the American Le Mans Series will take place in Detroit (US state of Michigan) next weekend (31 Aug-1 Sep). It will be the first start for Audi in the "Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix" which takes place for the first time since 2001.
    Quotes after the race
    Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The Audi R10 TDI was the dominating car of the entire field at Mosport. Unfortunately we were missing luck. Now we have to look to the future. We still have three races in which we hope to beat the lighter LM P2 sports cars. Congratulations to the Team of Audi Sport North America, who clinched the Team title in the premiere class of the LM P1 sportscars three races before the end of the season."
    Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "A really cruel ending to a weekend that had been so good for us until the last few moments of the race. I couldn’t believe Allan had got a gearbox problem almost within sight of the chequered flag. Technical issues are so rare to us. We’ve waited for another overall victory since St Petersburg in April and I honestly believed we’d had all of the bad luck we could suffer."
    Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1): "My Audi R10 TDI worked very well while excellent strategy from Audi Sport North America put us in control of the race. I was able to pull away in traffic but with a few minutes to go, encountered a technical issue with the gearshift. I was stuck in fourth gear at times losing us a lot of time. I lost the lead with just five minutes remaining. Despite Dindo and I taking our seventh class win of the season and extending our championship lead, we’re obviously very disappointed having come so close to winning the race outright."
    Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2): "We had the fastest car today, we were really good, but we lost one lap due to a confusing situation during a full course yellow, which was not our fault. Without this incident we would have won the race. It was very unfortunate that we were prevented from giving Audi and our team this win."
    Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "I am disappointed, because again we lost the race in the pits. During the yellow phase the time was too short to be on the track in front of the pace car. Because of that we lost one lap. The Audi R10 TDI was very good today, it was a lot of fun to drive, but unfortunately we were one lap behind. The luck was not on our side today."
    Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "Audi Sport North America scored its eighth LM P1 1-2 of the season but it was also a very disappointing race for us. The #1 Audi encountered a technical issue concerning the transmission with just 10 minutes to go after an outright victory had looked all but certain. The #2 R10 TDI suffered due to a misunderstanding not of our making during a full course caution. Marco set the fastest race lap so the safety car confusion makes it even more frustrating for us."
    The results at Mosport
    1. Dumas/Bernhard (Porsche) 125 laps in 2h 45m 43.043s
    2. Capello/McNish (Audi R10 TDI) + 19.576s (1st in LM P1)
    3. Maassen/Briscoe (Porsche) + 30.598s
    4. Pirro/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) + 33.892s (2nd in LM P1)
    5. Herta/Franchitti (Acura/Honda) + 1m 00.640s
    6. Bach/Devlin (Lola-Mazda) - 1 lap
    7. Dyson/Smith (Porsche) - 1 lap
    8. Fernandez/Diaz (Acura/Honda) - 1 lap
    9. Wallace/Leitzinger (Porsche) - 1 lap
    10. O’Connell/Magnussen (Chevrolet) - 9 laps

    Communication Motorsport