Audi TDI Power triumphs again - Saturday, August 9, 2008
|Audi TDI Power triumphs again
1-2 victory for Audi at Road America
Sixth victory of the season for Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner
Strong début for Marcel Fässler with the Audi R10 TDI
Ingolstadt/Elkhart Lake – Audi has clinched the second consecutive 1-2 victory in the American Le Mans Series. At Road America (U.S. state of Wisconsin), the German duo Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner celebrated their sixth victory of the season thus taking a further step towards the title. Marcel Fässler completed the Audi triumph in his first race with the Audi R10 TDI alongside Emanuele Pirro.
On the fastest track in the American Le Mans Series calendar, the over 650-hp strong diesel sports cars from Audi were the fastest cars. However, seven caution periods repeatedly cost any advantage the Audi drivers gained. The lead changed eleven times before the two Audi R10 TDI cars prevailed in the thrilling final stages of the four-hour race.
Marco Werner overtook the two leading Acura/Hondas on the long start-finish straight just six laps before the end of the race. Marcel Fässler also used the torque advantage of the Audi TDI engine and squeezed into second place with a breathtaking manoeuvre on the penultimate lap. This made the latest 1-2 victory – the third of the year – perfect.
Marcel Fässler immediately scored a podium finish in his first ever race at the wheel of the Audi R10 TDI. Marco Werner drove his 50th race in the American Le Mans Series at Road America. With his 19th overall victory he moved up to the third place in the eternal ranking of the series. Only Dindo Capello (26) and Frank Biela (21) have scored more outright victories.
Lucas Luhr and Emanuele Pirro had laid the foundations for the 1-2 victory. They made it a 1-2 lead for Audi as early as at the start providing a spectacular duel on the opening laps. Only after the first pit stop, which cost Pirro time because his car was too close to the pit wall, was Luhr able to pull away.
With their sixth consecutive class victory – and their fourth overall victory of the year – Luhr/Werner further extended their lead in the LM P1 Drivers’ Championship.
Quotes after the race at Road America
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Due to the many caution periods it was a very difficult race. For a time, it appeared as if it would be very difficult for us to win. However, with a really good performance and thanks to Audi TDI Power we were able to achieve the result we wanted. I’m happy for the team that we brought home this double victory. And it was also a very nice Audi début for Marcel Fässler.”
Lucas Luhr (Audi R10 TDI #2): "The strategy that we had in our minds before the race did not work out because of the many yellows. Nevertheless I was able to pull away quite well. Unfortunately we always lost the advantage we had due to the caution periods. Thank God in the end it was still enough to win. I’m more than happy. Marcel (Fässler) must also be praised. It was his first race with this car and he was able to catch the two Acura/Hondas and thus make the Audi 1-2 victory perfect. This was again a great race weekend. Thanks to the team of Audi Sport North America, to the boys at home and Michelin."
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "A beautiful 50th race! The race was not easy, especially after the penultimate restart with the two Acura/Hondas in front of me. Behind these cars we lost a lot of down force, so it was incredibly difficult to close the gap to them. Once I even went off the track. At the end it worked well. Thanks to Audi TDI Power we got the Acura/Hondas on the straights. It was a nice race, I spent a lot of time in the car, it was a lot of fun.”
Marcel Fässler (Audi R10 TDI #1): "This was a very special race for me. The final restart was unbelievable. It was pretty close between Brabham and the wall. But I said to myself: Now or never! It worked out. I am very happy that I was able to give the second place to the team. It ran very well from the beginning, I am satisfied. Generally speaking, the atmosphere at Audi and in the American Le Mans Series is perfect.”
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1): "I’m really happy. It was a very good and interesting race with many yellows. Some helped us, some did not help us. I think we did a good job. Marcel (Fässler) drove very well and integrated really well into the team. There is nothing to complain about and we can go home with a smile on our faces.”
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "This was a perfect day with excellent driving from all our drivers. The team did not make any mistakes. Our strategy and pit stops were also good. And both Marco and Marcel made great passes at the end of the race.”
The results at Road America
1 Luhr/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) 102 laps in 4h 00m 41.459s (1st in LM P1)
2 Fässler/Pirro (Audi R10 TDI) + 2.463s (2nd in LM P1)
3 Brabham/Sharp (Acura/Honda) + 4.336s
4 Dumas/Bernhard (Porsche) + 5.203s
5 Franchitti/Leitzinger (Porsche) + 15.095s
6 Maassen/Long (Porsche) + 15.854s
7 Field/Field/Berry (Lola-AER) - 1 lap (3rd in LM P1)
8 Devlin/Bonilla (Lola-Mazda) - 1 lap
9 Smith/Dyson (Porsche) - 2 laps
10 O’Connell/Magnussen (Chevrolet) - 5 laps
- Ends -