July 4, 2005
Source: Champion Racing
LAKEVILLE, CT. – Today’s one-two finish by Team ADT Champion Racing at Lime Rock Park didn’t come easy. Heavy traffic, multiple incidents, and an extremely bumpy track challenged the drivers and the crew throughout the 2:45 minute New England Grand Prix. In the end, JJ Lehto and Marco Werner (Audi R8 No. 1 drivers) crossed the finish line first with the sister car driven by Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro right behind.
Werner, who qualified first breaking a track ALMS record, led the field of 22 cars for all of his stint. During Werner’s one hour stint in the Audi, with the # 16 Dyson car driven by Butch Leitzinger breathing down his neck, Werner posted his fastest lap, 48.6 seconds. Werner switched over to his teammate, JJ Lehto, and Lehto continued the charge. All was going well until James Weaver in the No. 16 Dyson car dove low into Turn 1 and took the lead from Lehto. Lehto took advantage of a full course caution yellow to re-fuel and was back on track. Lehto regained the lead when Weaver came in for fuel and had trouble re-starting the car. Lehto would swap positions once with the sister Audi driven by Pirro but ultimately a traffic incident unexpectedly caused the No. 2 car to pit and Lehto regained the lead. In the final stages James Weaver came back strong, passed both Audi’s and looked unstoppable until a mechanical problem caused the car to slow and eventually stop on track. From then on the No. 1 Audi R8 was checkered flag bound.
Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela, Audi R8 No. 2 drivers, had a memorable day this being their first race at Lime Rock Park. Starting from fourth position, Biela immediately grabbed third position when the No. 20 Dyson car experienced problems. During Biela and Pirro’s first pit stop and driver change, the No. 2 Audi almost squeezed out ahead of the No. 16 Dyson car that was splitting the two Audis. Pirro put the pressure on but wasn’t able to get by. During Pirro’s next pit-stop, the crew’s strategy of less fuel thus less time in the pits put Pirro and the No. 2 Audi in front of the sister car. The strategy, which earned the team an advantage of six seconds, was successful but an unavoidable accident just after the chicane on the back strait caused Pirro to have strong contact with a Porsche. Pirro came in to have the team check for damage, but other than a few broken pieces on the front nose, the Audi remained in tact. Pirro was back out, back in 2nd position, and now hunting down Lehto. During the re-start from a full course caution, Pirro tried to pass Lehto going into Turn 1 but Lehto braked late and cancelled Pirro’s intentions. The duo ran one and two to the home stretch.
JJ Lehto has now earned his 23rd ALMS victory (tied with Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell, Corvette Racing) and Marco Werner has earned his 14th ALMS victory. Emanuele Pirro posted the fastest lap of the 2:45 minute rac3e, 47.787 seconds.
The next stop on the American Le Mans Series schedule will be at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California for the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma, July 15- 17. CBS Sports will provide television coverage.
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #1
JJ Lehto (Fin). Age: 39. Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
“We had good tactics today and a good car. It was definitely a dogfight out there today so that makes the win much nicer. We got the maximum points today and that is what is important now.”
Marco Werner (D). Age: 38. Born: Dortmund, Germany. Lives: Ermatingen, Switzerland:
“I like this track because it is very difficult to drive. I pushed myself very hard to keep a gap between the competition and myself. We lost it for a while during the full course caution but in the end we finished first. It’s nice to win hard races.”
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #2
Frank Biela (D). Age: 40. Born: Neuss, Germany. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
“Our strategy was very good today, especially during the 2nd pit-stop for fuel. Emanuele got out in front for a while and then unfortunately we had the accident. We are still waiting for our first win.”
Emanuele Pirro (It). Age: 43. Born: Rome, Italy. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:
“I think today’s race was a very positive race for us. I believe we had the fastest car out there today. I had that one incident and I thought the race was for over for us, but I kept on pushing. Unfortunately it was not enough for us. We had a very hard fight and I think we proved that we are here to fight to the end.”
DRIVERS CLASS TEAM Difference
1) J.Lehto/M.Werner LMP1 ADT Champion Racing 165 laps
4) E.Pirro/F.Biela/ LMP1 ADT Champion Racing 1.719
2) O.Gavin/O.Beretta GT2 Corvette Racing 6 laps
3) R.Fellows/J.O’Connell GT2 Corvette Racing 8 laps
5) T.Borcheller/J.Mowlem GT2 Acemco Motorsports 9 laps
For more information on Audi motorsports visit www.audiusa.com. For more information on Champion Racing, visit www.championracing.net.