June 9, 2004

Team ADT Champion Racing, READY, SET, GO!-For the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Source: Audi Sport  

LE MANS, France - It's the most famous week leading up to the most famous race in sports car racing. This week marks the 72nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Team ADT Champion Racing is ready to battle for the win. If Champion Racing wins the race, it will be the first time in 38 years that an American team has won the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy. 

Founded in 1994 by Dave Maraj, Champion Racing (Pompano Beach, FL) has become a formidable opponent for teams competing in sports car racing. Supported by Audi Sport North America, Champion Racing returns to Le Mans for only their third attempt in what is arguably the most famous sports car race in the world.

Piloting the #2, Audi R8 will be American Le Mans Series' drivers JJ Lehto (1995 Le Mans winner) and Marco Werner. Joining the team, as he did for the 12 Hours of Sebring, will be Emanuele Pirro (2000, 2001, 2002 Le Mans winner). Lehto and Pirro were partnered for this event with Champion last year. This year, both drivers welcome the extraordinary talents of Marco Werner. 

RFM Sports, a leading motorsports website, will provide a "Window on Le Mans" to allow fans to follow ADT Champion Racing as they compete in the world's most famous endurance race. 

Beginning June 9th, fans will be able to go to www.rfmsports.com/LeMans/ChampionAudi/index.htm, or a special section of www.americanlemans.com, for expanded coverage of ADT Champion Racing's battle for the win. Each day, RFM Sports will highlight a different facet of Champion Racing as the team prepares for the arduous race. Facets will include such areas as catering and logistics, mechanics, engineers and technicians, public relations, floaters and delivery people. In the words of these people, as well as through photos, readers will get an in-depth look at the inner workings of Champion Racing as they compete not only in a long and grueling race, but also in a foreign land on another continent. 

Practice and qualifying will be held on Wednesday and Thursday evening, with the 8.46-mile Circuit de La Sarthe open until midnight both nights. The twice-around-the-clock event begins at 4 p.m. (France time) on Saturday, June 12. In North America, race fans will be able to watch 20.5 hours of live coverage of the event on the SPEED Channel, beginning at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday and concluding at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Live coverage of the entire race can be heard online at www.radiolemans.com.

Driver quotes: 

JJ Lehto (Finland): "The preparation this year is much, much higher. It was good last year but this year you can really see and feel it. The team has learned a lot since coming here 3 years ago. Everybody knows what it takes to be the best and everyone is eager to do their best. The only way to win this weekend will be to keep clean. No mistakes can occur." 

Marco Werner (Germany): "I hope that I can be on the podium again. Two years ago I was on the podium and I hope that I can finish there again this year. It's a dream for me and also for the team and Mr. Maraj. That's the focus for me this weekend, to win this race. Le Mans is one of the biggest events in motorsports therefore, it is important to win this race."

Emanuele Pirro (Italy): "I think this year we are really well prepared, better than ever. 
We are really functioning as a team here. This will be our main event of the year and to a certain extent, it could even be the race of our life because for a team like Champion, it presents such a huge opportunity. The motivation is there and the preparation is definitely there. These guys have done everything they could do to present themselves in the best possible of ways. We have everything we need--now we just have to have a good solid race and a little bit of luck."