April 17, 2005
Source: Champion Racing
BRASELTON, GA. (April 17, 2005) – Team ADT Champion Racing celebrated its second 2005 American Le Mans Series victory and its fourth consecutive Road Atlanta win when the No. 1 Audi R8 took the checkered flag in today’s Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta. Teammates JJ Lehto and Marco Werner fought traffic, a stop and go penalty, and several caution periods as they steered their Audi R8 around the 2.5-mile, 12 turn road course.
Coming in third place was the sister car of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro. A positive finish for the No. 2 car despite a broken wheel coming off during Biela’s stint as he was steering through the famous esses at Road Atlanta. Biela lost valuable time limping back to the pits but the incredible crew of Team ADT Champion Racing fixed the wheel and Emanuele Pirro left the pits in record time. Pirro experienced a little delay in his second pit-stop as the front nose had to be replaced due to damaged louvers that were the exposing the front wheel wells.
The only other incident that occurred was during the first pit-stop for Werner and Lehto. A loose tire rolled away during the initial pit stop therefore forcing Lehto to serve a stop and go penalty during his stint. That error had little effect on the outcome as clever pit stop strategy and fast lap times helped the team claim first on the podium.
Today’s victory marks the seventh straight win at Road Atlanta for the Audi R8 (2000-2005). Lehto also makes history as he has now earned a record fourth straight Road Atlanta American Le Mans Series win, an ALMS record for any track.
The next round for the American Le Mans Series takes place next month at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course May 20-22 in Lexington, Ohio. Live coverage will again by televised by CBS Sports.
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #1
JJ Lehto (Fin) – “There were so many things going on in this race. Marco started the race and did a really good first stint. The No. 2 car had a problem and we were just pushing all the time. Then there was a penalty and then a wave by which was strange but the team kept saying ‘keep on going, keep pushing’ and I did. In the end it worked out for us. It’s always nice to win here at Road Atlanta.”
Marco Werner (D) – “I was trying everything in the beginning to be close behind James Weaver in the Dyson car. Sometimes I lost a little bit in the esses because I had slower cars in front of me and Weaver was a little bit luckier as he was in front. It was important to be close to him and then the yellows helped us as well as we were always in the right position. The team did a great job and JJ did great job too-as always!”
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #2
Frank Biela (D) – “We had some bad luck today which cost us two laps. It first started early around lap 12. The vibrations were really hard and continued for about 20 to 25 laps until the wheel broke. So I guess that was the beginning of the end. Under the circumstances we are very happy with third place.”
Emanuele Pirro (It) – “To be honest, I was expecting more from today. We had an improving weekend from a not very good set-up on Friday. We ended up with a very good car. But during the race, things turned around for us. I tried very hard to catch up but as you know, this is a very short race. We have another few points in the pocket. Another weekend is gone and now we must look forward to the next race.”
Brad Kettler (Technical Director): “It just goes to show, you never give up, you always keep trying. It looked pretty grim there for a little while but we kept evaluating the race and looking at our fuel strategy to go to the end. The key to the race was the two times we pitted under yellow and topped the tank off on the No. 1 car. The second time gave us the lead. The fight was really good. The competition with Dyson was great. I’m very happy.”