August 25, 2006

Audi Has the First “Match Ball” at Mosport
Source: Audi Communication Motorsport

  • Fastest circuit on American Le Mans Series calendar
  • Capello/McNish can wrap up title early
  • Audi R10 TDI unbeaten to date

    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)
    "Mosport is a very difficult circuit, on which the Dyson team has won twice in the last two years. The 65 kilogram weight difference between the R10 TDI and the Dyson-Lola should be considerably more apparent than last time out at Road America. Also, with immediate effect, our competitors are allowed to run with five-litre larger fuel tanks. This means that it will be even tougher for us. In spite of this, and with one eye on the championship, we will attempt to score another good result.”

    Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1)
    "I believe that our R10 TDI will also be good at Mosport, because the circuit is even faster than Road America. The high-speed set-up must be very good, since the speeds are high everywhere. Mosport is great fun to drive, but you can’t afford for anything to go wrong there. The run-off areas have been improved, but they are still not the optimum.”

    Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1)
    "Mosport is one of my favourite circuits because I love fast corners. For some reason or other, however, I was never really good there. The only two accidents I ever had in an Audi R8 were at Mosport. Nevertheless, I like the circuit, so I can’t wait to get started.”

    Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #2)
    "Mosport is the quickest circuit on the American Le Mans Series schedule. It should suit our R10 TDI perfectly. I have fond memories of Mosport. I won there with Allan (McNish) in 2000, which was the closest finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series. I won again with Tom (Kristensen) in 2002. I haven’t been to Mosport since then, which is why I look forward all the more to driving again on one of the series’ most demanding tracks.”

    Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #2)
    "I’ve been to Mosport twice before, more recently in 2000 with Dindo (Capello), when we won by a mere 148 thousandths-of-a-second in changing weather conditions. I hope that our margin of victory is a little bigger this time… Drivers love Mosport’s fast corners, in which you can really attack. I think our R10 TDI will also like it. I do however expect a tough race. Dyson was very strong at Mosport over the last few years, and I expect that they will be even stronger in 2006.”

    Dave Maraj (Team Director Team Audi Sport North America)
    "We are proud to have won every race that the R10 TDI has competed in up to this point. Mosport is one of the most challenge circuits on the American Le Mans Series schedule; it has fast rollercoaster-like elevation changes, plus ever changing weather conditions and always provides the unexpected. The team will give 100% to try and ensure a victory. It would be fantastic to win the drivers' title early.”

    The schedule at Mosport

    Friday, 1 September
    13:05 – 13:35 Test (LM GT1 / GT2)
    13:35 – 14:35 Test (all classes)
    14:35 – 15:05 Test (LM P1 / P2)

    Saturday, 2 September
    10:15 – 11:15 Free Practice
    14:00 – 15:00 Free Practice
    15:10 – 15:30 Qualifying (LM GT1 / GT2)
    15:40 – 16:00 Qualifying (LM P1 / P2)

    Sunday, 3 September
    10:05 – 10:35 Warm-up
    15:00 – 17:45 Race

    Live timing and scoring and circuit commentary at: www.americanlemans.com

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