|August 25, 2006
Audi Has the First “Match Ball” at Mosport
The fastest circuit of the year plays host to the American Le Mans Series where Audi will have the first "match ball”: Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) could wrap up the drivers’ title early at the wheel of their Audi R10 TDI at Mosport (Canada), round eight of the ten race championship. It would be the first time in motorsport history that drivers with a diesel sportscar have won an internationally acclaimed championship.
Going into the race at Mosport, approximately 60 miles west of the Canadian metropolis Toronto, the two Audi drivers have a 42-point lead over the Lola drivers Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver. If Capello and McNish score at least seven points more than their closest rivals they will enter the final two races at Road Atlanta (30 September) and Laguna Seca (21 October) with an unassailable lead.
Although the Audi R10 TDI remains unbeaten after four races in the American Le Mans Series, Capello and McNish face an uphill struggle. On one hand they must stave off the challenge from their team-mates Frank Biela (Germany) and Emanuele Pirro (Italy), who have won two of the last three races. Furthermore their title rivals Leitzinger and Weaver have received yet another "goodie” from the organisers: They are not only allowed to compete in a 65 kilogram lighter car but also with a 5 litre larger fuel tank.
The Audi drivers already had their hands full keeping the lightened Dyson-Lola behind at Portland and Road America. Several contacts underline just how hard fought the American Le Mans Series is. Furthermore, Mosport has been "Dyson land” in the previous two years: Leitzinger/Weaver won there twice in succession (2004 and 2005).
The Audi Sport North America squad will nevertheless do everything to end the Dyson team’s winning streak at Mosport and continue the R10 TDI prototype’s victory roll. The revolutionary sportscar has not been beaten since its debut at Sebring in March. Fast circuits like Mosport, with an average speed of over 210 kph (130 mph), suit the new Audi particularly well.
Round eight of the 2006 American Le Mans Series will start on Sunday (3 September) at 3:00 p.m. local time (9:00 p.m. in Germany) and lasts 2:45 hours. SPEED broadcasts the entire race live in the USA, Motors TV in Europe.
Qutoes before the race at Mosport
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1)
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1)
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #2)
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #2)
Dave Maraj (Team Director Team Audi Sport North America)
The schedule at Mosport
Friday, 1 September
Saturday, 2 September
Sunday, 3 September
Live timing and scoring and circuit commentary at: www.americanlemans.com