|February 4, 2003
Strong Audi teams in Le Mans and America
During the forthcoming 2003 motorsport season, strong teams and drivers will represent Audi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring (USA) and in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). After AUDI AG restructured their motorsport involvement, racing of the successful Audi R8 lies in the hands of four customer teams who are supported by the Audi importers of North America, Great Britain and Japan.
Infineon Team Joest and US-based Team ADT Champion Racing will contest the 2003 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Frank Biela (Germany), three time Le Mans winner, and fellow countryman Marco Werner will drive for Reinhold Joest's three time ALMS champion team (2000, 2001 and 2002). JJ Lehto, former Finnish Formula 1 driver, is the new team colleague of Englishman Johnny Herbert.
As Herbert will start for Bentley at Sebring, the opening race of the American Le Mans Series on March 15, and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Emanuele Pirro (Italy), the three time Le Mans winner and 2001 ALMS champion, will strengthen the Champion team at both of the long distance classics. Stefan Johansson from Sweden will complete the Team ADT Champion Racing driver trio in Sebring and Le Mans.
At the season's highlight in Le Mans, two further R8 sports cars from Audi Sport Japan Team Goh and Audi Sport UK will compete in addition to the Champion Racing R8. Jan Magnussen (Denmark), Seiji Ara (Japan) and Marco Werner will drive the "Japanese" R8.
Frank Biela, Briton Perry McCarthy and former Formula 1 driver Mika Salo (Finland) have been confirmed as drivers for the Audi Sport UK team at Le Mans. The British team will also compete in the 12 Hours of Sebring in preparation for Le Mans.
Audi teams competing in the 2003 American Le Mans Series (ALMS):
Audi teams at the 12 Hours of Sebring:
Audi teams at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: