|July 17, 2002
Thousands of Audi Fans Celebrate Le Mans Hat-Trick
Together with the chairman of the board of AUDI AG, Dr Martin Winterkorn, around 4000 Audi and motorsport fans celebrated Audi´s triple victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in the Audi Forum at Ingolstadt on Tuesday evening. Accompanied by rousing cheers Frank Biela drove the Infineon Audi R8 to the stage, with which Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro had won the world´s toughest automobile race in mid-June for the third consecutive time. "This victory is something very special," said Biela. "It is the biggest success of my entire career."
The enthusiasm of the fans spread to the successful Audi team. The Italian Emanuele Pirro - obviously emotional - spoke to the spectators in German: "Thanks that so many of you have come - simply fantastic!" Dr Martin Winterkorn also thanked for the big interest. "This success is a super team performance," the chairman of the board declared. "We can be rightfully proud of these people!"
The Audi drivers displayed the winner´s trophy to the enthusiastic visitors, which after the third successive Le Mans victory remains in Ingolstadt forever. Racing fans could almost touch the three Le Mans winning cars from 2000, 2001 and 2002. This unique trio had already created a stir last weekend at the British Goodwood "Festival of Speed".
After the roaring Le Mans party in Ingolstadt, five of the Audi works drivers (Frank Biela, Rinaldo Capello, Johnny Herbert, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro) travelled directly to the US capital Washington, where this weekend a round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) will be run for the first time. "This is also something very special," remarked Tom Kristensen.