Road Atlanta, 06 October 2007
10th outright ALMS race win for pioneering R10 TDI
McNish & Capello retain LM P1 Driver’s championship
Luhr unexpectedly deputises for Pirro in #2 Audi
Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) recorded Audi’s 10th American Le Mans Series outright victory with the revolutionary 650 hp R10 TDI as the reigning LM P1 champions successfully defended their "crown" when they won today’s 1,000-mile race at Road Atlanta (US state of Georgia) for a second consecutive year. Their #1 Audi started from the front row and averaged 107.422mph during the annual Petit Le Mans race which featured nine full course caution periods accounting for 144-minutes.
The Capello/McNish Audi finished just 0.923-secs ahead of the second-placed LM P2 #7 Porsche after a tense battle. Their outright win, Audi’s third of the 2007 ALMS season, marked the German car manufacturer’s eighth consecutive Petit victory at the undulating 4.088 kilometre (2.540 miles) track where Audi remain unbeaten since their Petit debut in 2000 and the third and fourth Petit wins for McNish and Capello respectively.
The "sister" Audi R10 TDI was driven by Marco Werner (Germany) and unexpectedly Lucas Luhr (Germany). Werner’s regular co-driver Emanuele Pirro (Italy) was withdrawn by Audi on advice from IMSA medical officials on race morning still suffering from concussion following a high-speed accident on Thursday caused by a left rear puncture.
Werner had set a record pole-position time but due to the driver change, Luhr started from the back of the 30-car grid. The Werner/Luhr R10 TDI dropped out of second place and contention for honours following a collision after 2.5hrs resulting in lengthy pit-stops. The #2 Audi ultimately finished fourth in LM P1.
Having clinched the Manufacturers’ & Teams’ titles in the previous two races for an eighth consecutive year, Capello and McNish scored Audi’s 21st consecutive LM P1 class ALMS win today.
The 12th and final round is staged at Laguna Seca on 20 October.