|October 16, 2004
Audi Qualifies on Front Row at ALMS Finale
Team ADT Champion Racing's two Audi R8 sports cars will start the final race of the Le Mans Endurance Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca (California) from the first and the second row of the grid. In Friday's qualifying session, JJ Lehto missed the pole position by just 0.218s. Johnny Herbert qualified the "sister car" in third position.
Saturday's ALMS finale will start at 4 p.m. local time. The race distance has been extended from the usual 2:45 hours to 4 hours. This means that the race will finish in darkness. Johnny Herbert will share the #2 Audi R8 with Pierre Kaffer. ALMS champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner are aiming for a series' record of seven overall victories in a single season with their Audi R8.
Quotes after qualifying
JJ Lehto (Team ADT Champion Racing / Audi R8 #38): "We are more than positively surprised about our positions on the grid because we expected fourth in qualifying would be the maximum we could do here. The set-up we have is very good. Tyres will be a key factor in the race as track conditions keep changing all the time."
Marco Werner (Team ADT Champion Racing / Audi R8 #38): "To be on the front row of the grid is very good for us for tomorrow's race. I won here last year so I definitely would like to do so again. It would be a great ending to a great season."
Johnny Herbert (Team ADT Champion Racing / Audi R8 #2): "I am happy the way qualifying went. The tyre choice we picked was good. I am very close to JJ. It's no surprise to see the Zytek on pole. We are used to this from the LMES. But I believe our Audi will be the stronger car in the race also here."
Pierre Kaffer (Team ADT Champion Racing / Audi R8 #2): "Over the past two days I have learned the track. It is very nice, very impressive, especially the Corkscrew. Despite my limited experience here, I feel very optimistic and confident for the race. The Champion Audi team has done a good job and I'd like to reward them with a victory."
Dave Maraj (Team Director Team ADT Champion Racing): "The team once more did a very good job. I am very satisfied with the qualifying result and looking forward to the race."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorport): "We are seeing a picture we are used to from most of this year's ALMS and LMES races: There are some very fast cars which are close together after qualifying. Usually we have the advantage that the Audi R8 can run the same speed from qualifying also in the race - the others still have to prove if they can do the same here."
The starting grid at Laguna Seca
1 Minassian/Campbell-Walter (Zytek) 1m 15.893s