June 16, 2000

Audi R8's First Three Positions on Le Mans Grid

Le Mans, France, Audi Sport R8's will start from the top three positions for the 2000 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In the early evening the number 9 Audi of Allan McNish put up the pole position time of 1:37.653. "This is Audi's first pole position at Le Mans. I think we showed in prequalifying that we have the speed. All three cars are very equal, split only by thousandths of a second," said McNish. "The track today had more grip, allowing me to improve over yesterday's time."

McNish improved his qualifying time from yesterday by 1.5 seconds. The number eight Audi of Biela, Kristensen and Pirro will complete the front row for Audi. Completing a three-sweep, the number seven R8 driven by Abt, Alboreto and Capello will take up the third grid position.

"We are happy to get the pole, but we have a tough 24 hours ahead of us. We will be concentrating on this element and making all of the necessary preparations," said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Sport.

"This is just one step in our Le Mans weekend," said Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America. "The team is poised to compete on Saturday and Joest is no stranger to the challenges of Le Mans."

"Of course we are content with our qualifying result, but more importantly than claiming pole position, is the fact that we were able to work on a good set-up for the race, and that makes me even happier. All three cars were able to consistently set fast times during qualifying," commented Reinhold Joest, Team Director, Team Joest.

Final qualifying times:

1. Audi R8 Aiello/McNish/Ortelli 3:36.124
2. Audi R8 Apt/Alboreto/Capello 3:36.650
3. Audi R8 Biela/Kristensen/Pirro 3:37.086
4. Panoz Brabham/Magnussen/Andretti 3:39.156
5. Lola Schiattarella/de Radigues/Naspetti 3:39.651
6. Courage C60 Gache/Formato/Cottaz 3:39.917
7. Reynard Johansson/Matthews/Smith 3:40.124
8. Panoz Katoh/O'Connell/Raphanel 3:41.359
9. Cadillac Bernard/Collard/Montagny 3:42.616
10. Lola Lammers/Kox/Coronel 3:43.188







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