August 14, 2003

Triple Victory for Audi at Silverstone
Source: Audi
Motorsport

Audi celebrated a triple victory in the third race of the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) at Silverstone/England. As in the previous race at the Nürburgring/Germany Allan McNish and Pierre Kaffer passed the finish line after 1000 kilometres at first positon in their Audi R8 of the Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx. They managed to do so one lap ahead of their Audi colleagues Seiji Ara and Rinaldo Capello in the 2004 "Le Mans 24-hour race" winning car of the Audi Sport Japan Team Goh. Total triumph for Audi was completed by Jamies Davies and Johnny Herbert finishing third.

Right in the first third of the race Pierre Kaffer went into the lead, losing it only during the regular pit stops. All three Audi R8 made the six-hour race without any technical problems. Right to the end of the race Rinaldo Capello managed by doing some very fast laps to catch Johnny Herbert who suffered from a difficult handling of his car.

After their second consecutive victory Pierre Kaffer and Allan McNish took the lead in the driversī standing of the LMP1 class. The last race of the 2004 LMES season will take part on 12 September in Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium.

Quotes after the race

Pierre Kaffer (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx / Audi R8 #8): "I enjoyed a perfect double-stint and our race strategy worked very well. I was happy to sit behind Jamie early in the race and conserve fuel. I was more cautious lapping slower traffic than the Zytek which is how you need to drive in a long distance sportscar race - as I have discovered this year. This marks my third Audi sportscar victory having won at Sebring (ALMS) and at the Nürburgring."

Allan McNish (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx / Audi R8 #8): "Pierre completed an excellent double stint and handed me a car that was perfectly in the groove. The car continued to be consistent through each of my stints. I backed off to save having to make a late fuel stop which cost both the Japanese Audi and our `sister' car time. Second place would be good enough for the LM P1 Driver's title at Spa but we want another win."

Seiji Ara (Audi Sport Japan Team Goh / Audi R8 #5): "I am very excited and happy to finish second. Dindo was driving fantastic. I have to say `Thank you` to him."

Rinaldo Capello (Audi Sport Japan Team Goh / Audi R8 #5): "This was a nice race. After my first two stints when the car was not so good, I was not very much encouraged for the last two stints. But as soon as I made the first miles I noticed the car was completely different. I was able to push as hard as I wanted. Starting sixth, finishing second is not bad... Letīs see whether we can manage a victory in the last race at Spa."

Jamie Davies (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx / Audi R8 #88): "In the opening laps I pushed hard and everything was fine. But once in traffic, having to go off the racing line caused my tyres to collect `pick-up' which badly affected the handling. The Michelin tyre technicians also detected a very slow puncture on a rear tyre after I'd stopped and handed over to Johnny which would not have helped the balance. It's a shame but we still have a chance for title success."

Johnny Herbert (Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx / Audi R8 #88): "On my first scheduled stop, we had to change the nose section which was possibly damaged when I nudged a kerb but that didn't cost much time. The handling was good on new tyres initially but each time it quickly deteriorated - it was bizarre. We suffered the same kind of problem in the previous race and thought it had been cured, there was no problem in qualifying but 24 hours later it was back. But so will we - at Spa!"

Sam Li (Team Director Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx): "A third consecutive LMES victory makes me very proud of the team. It was an especially good performance by car #8. There are now four points between our four drivers in the LM P1 standings with Team Goh a further five points back so there is still everything to play for at Spa. Our workshops are close to Silverstone while our partner, Audi UK, is based close by in Milton Keynes so the win is especially sweet."

Kazumichi Goh (Team Director Audi Sport Japan Team Goh): "A great result. Both drivers did a good job, especially Dindo was fantastic at the end of the race. More than this: Our Audi R8 was in good shape today."

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Again we saw an exciting long distance race - until to the very end. Tactics played a major role. The Goh team fully earned the second place. Allan and Pierre did a faultless race for victory. Congratulations to them. What makes me really happy: All three Audi R8 made it to the finish line without any technical problem."

The result at Silverstone

1. Kaffer/McNish (Audi R8) 195 laps in 5hrs 33m 37.992s
2. Ara/Capello (Audi R8) - 1 lap
3. Davies/Herbert (Audi R8) - 2 laps
4. Dyson/Kerr (Zytek) - 3 laps
5. Lupberger/Stirling/Dumas (Nasamax-Judd) - 13 laps
6. Collini/Hignett/Stack (Zytek) - 14 laps
7. Gounon/Frei/Hancock (Courage) - 17 laps
8. Erdos/Newton/Ramos (Lola-AER) - 21 laps
9. Bouchut/Lamy/Zacchia (Ferrari) - 21 laps
10. Deletraz/Hezemans/Piccini (Ferrari) - 24 laps