Audi R10 TDI on the Front Row at Mosport

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September 3, 2006

Source: Audi Communication Motorsport

  • Heavy rain causes qualifying to be cancelled
  • Second position on the grid for McNish and Capello
  • Championship leaders can claim the title early

    The Audi “works” drivers Allan McNish (Scotland) and Dindo Capello (Italy) will start their Audi R10 TDI from the front row in the eighth race of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport (Canada). Due to heavy rain, the 20 minute qualifying on Saturday was cancelled. For Sunday’s starting grid, the organisers took into account each car’s best lap time achieved in any of the three free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. The ALMS championship leaders Allan McNish and Dindo Capello will sit next to the Lola drivers and 2005 Mosport race winners, James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, on the front row. Their Audi team-mates Frank Biela (Germany) and Emanuele Pirro (Italy) start the race on the 2.549 miles circuit, located about 60 miles east of Toronto, from sixth place.

    On the fastest track of the season, Audi has the first “matchball” in the American Le Mans Series. In the eighth race of the season, the championship leaders Capello and McNish can claim ahead of time the title in the Drivers’ championship. It would be the first time in motorsport history that drivers of a diesel sportscar would win an important championship. Before the race at Mosport, the two Audi drivers have an advantage of 42 points ahead of Lola drivers Leitzinger and Weaver. If Capello and McNish claim at least seven points more than their pursuers, they will be unreachable for the lead before the two final races in Road Atlanta (30 September) and Laguna Seca (21 October).

    The race at Mosport will start on Sunday afternoon at 3 pm local time (9 pm in Germany) and is scheduled to last 2.45 hours.

    Quotes after qualifying in Mosport

    Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #2):
    “Starting on the front row is good because overtaking can be tough here at Mosport. The unknown factor for the race will be the weather again. The track suffers from ‘standing’ water and ‘rivers’ when it rains hard which makes driving conditions very difficult like we saw in the final practice and so like everyone I prefer a dry race. The rain increased during that last session so it was correct to cancel qualifying – when you’re on the limit in those conditions it can be dangerous.”

    Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #2):
    “Dindo set a sterling lap time in today’s dry practice which ultimately proved critical in earning us second place on the grid. We proved that the Audi R10 TDI has also a good balance in the wet – and the dry. It’s my first time at Mosport since 2000 and it’s much faster than I remember which requires big commitment. The track surface changes mid-corner in many places from tarmac to concrete which can affect the car’s balance. We’re looking in good shape whatever the weather throws at us.”

    Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1):
    “It looks good for the race. Of course it was better to cancel the qualifying in heavy rain. The track conditions were very difficult. But it was not perfect for us that the times from the free practice are used for the grid because we had not concentrated on achieving fast lap times in that session deciding to concentrate on the car set-up for the race.”

    Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1):
    “We did a good job with the car. We found good grip. The R10 TDI is also a nice car to drive in the wet. Mosport is one of the most difficult and most demanding circuits and the race is going to be very hard. Our main objective is to do our best to help our ‘sister’ car to win the championship.”

    Dave Maraj (Team Director Team Audi Sport North America):
    “I’m reasonably happy with starting from second and sixth places. I’m certain the #1 Audi would have been higher up the grid if qualifying had been held but the rain was coming down hard and it was right to cancel it as a lot of cars could have been damaged for the race. The important factor will be for both of our cars to keep out of trouble especially early on.”

    The starting grid at Mosport

    1. Weaver/Leitzinger (Lola-AER) 1m 06.843s
    2. Capello/McNish (Audi R10 TDI) 1m 07.088s
    3. Luhr/Dumas (Porsche) 1m 07.221s
    4. Dyson/Smith (Lola-AER) 1m 07.254s
    5. Maassen/Bernhard (Porsche) 1m 07.382s
    6. Biela/Pirro (Audi R10 TDI) 1m 07.796s

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