October 24, 2002
Major award for Audi works driver Frank Biela: The three-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour race and former DTM champion was voted the ADAC Motor Sportsman of the Year 2002 by an expert panel of judges. “This award is a truly great honour,” declares the Neuss-born Audi pilot. “I´m absolutely delighted that my successes this year have been recognised by Europe´s largest automobile association.”
Frank Biela is the first German driver ever to win the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race three times in succession. Together with his two team mates Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro the Audi pilot also wrote motorsport history in the 2002 season: Biela/Kristensen/Pirro are the first and to date only driver team to succeed the long-distance classic, which has run since 1923, three consecutive times.
At 38-years, Frank Biela proved that he is still one of the fastest in his branch in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS): Six times he took part in qualifying, and six times he secured pole position – with this feat the German-born Monaco-resident is the “Qualifying King” of the ALMS, in which he finished the season third overall after three victories.
“For this success and the award from the ADAC I thank the Infineon Audi R8, the best sportscar in the world, and the entire Audi team,” said Biela, who has driven for Audi since 1991 and is hence the longest-standing Audi driver. With Audi he won the DTM (1991), the French Super Touring Car Championship (1993), the Touring Car World Cup (1995), the British Touring Car Championship (1996) and the Le Mans 24 Hour race three times in a row (2000, 2001 and 2002).
“The 2002 season was most certainly the highlight of my career to date,” maintains the new ADAC Motor Sportsman of the Year. The prize-giving takes place on 23 November as part of the ADAC Sportgala in Munich.