March 11, 2005

Team ADT Champion Racing Seeks First Victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring
Source: Audi Sport North America/Champion Racing

POMPANO BEACH, Fl. - After taking the runners-up spot four times in succession, Team ADT Champion Racing (Pompano Beach, FL), targets its first win at America's premier sports car race and one of the world's most famous endurance tests, the 53rd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway March 19. The storied 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course annually serves as the season opener for the American Le Mans Series.

This season also marks the farewell tour for the Audi R8, which will be replaced next year by a new model. The Audi R8, the most successful Le Mans prototype ever produced, made its race debut exactly five years ago at Sebring and remains unbeaten in the American endurance classic. Throughout its impressive history, the Audi R8 has celebrated 52 wins in 62 sports car races.

Team ADT Champion Racing shows no reservation this year, as they will enter two Audi R8 sports cars in all ten of the American Le Mans Series races as well as the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race in June. Piloting the two cars at Sebring and Le Mans is a genuine "Dream Team" of drivers: Audi "works" drivers Tom Kristensen, Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro, Marco Werner and Allan McNish along with world renowned, former Formula 1 driver, JJ Lehto. All six Audi drivers have won the 12 Hours of Sebring at least once.

Frank Biela (Neuss, Germany) can become the first driver in the long and prestigious history of the event to win four Sebring championships should he capture the title this year. He is one of only five drivers to post three (3) victories in the 52-year history of Sebring with wins in 2004, 2003 and 2000. The other four are Phil Hill, Mario Andretti, Hans Stuck and Olivier Gendebien.

The 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will get the green flag at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, and will be televised live from 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. by SPEED Channel. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have also have live coverage online at


Tom Kristensen (Den). Age: 37. Born: Hobro, Denmark. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

12 Hours of Sebring - sixth career appearance including 2005

American Le Mans Series record: 2002 LMP 900 Champion - 22 starts, 8 wins

"I can't imagine a better place to start the season. The first race of the year is always something very special, but Sebring is one of the genuine classics. It's about time that Champion Racing finally wins this race. Obviously the same can be said about Le Mans. I will compete in both races for the team and will give everything. I drove in one ALMS race for Champion in 2002, which helped me then to win the title. Perhaps I can give something back to the team that competes in motorsports with so much enthusiasm and passion. I drove together with JJ in 1999. I drive with Marco for the first time - but I know just how quick he is in a sportscar."

JJ Lehto (Fin). Age: 39. Born: Espoo, Finland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

12 Hours of Sebring - seventh career appearance including 2005

American Le Mans Series record: 2004 LMP 900 Champion - 48 starts, 20 wins

"Having tested at Sebring in December and again for three days in January/February and then visiting New York on an ALMS promotion in February, it feels like the ALMS season never finished since last year! We completed our test program which means we can return with a good set-up. The last test allowed all six drivers to get acclimated to the team and each other and it worked out fine. The weather will be warmer in March and the track conditions will be different but I'm certain we'll be in good shape. Since my 1999 Sebring victory, I haven't enjoyed the best of luck but it has always been close. "

Marco Werner (D). Age: 38. Born: Dortmund, Germany. Lives: Kreuzlingen, Switzerland:

12 Hours of Sebring - third career appearance including 2005

American Le Mans Series record: 2003 & 2004 LMP 900 Champion - 18 starts, 11 wins

"After the jubilation of winning in 2003 on my Sebring debut, last year's race was very disappointing. I touched a slower GT car at Turn 1 causing damage, which forced us to lose nine laps making repairs in the pits. We recovered to finish second at the chequer but it was a shame to miss out in this way. Obviously I dream about winning Sebring - and my first Le Mans - but also about retaining the ALMS title in 2005. Sebring will be tough but it's good training for the year ahead. The test was productive but you also need a little luck to win a race like Sebring - as I found out last year."


Frank Biela (D). Age: 40. Born: Neuss, Germany. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

12 Hours of Sebring - seventh career appearance including 2005

American Le Mans Series record: 2003 LMP 900 Champion - 41 starts, 15 wins

"Champion Racing are a well equipped squad - they have good, experienced personnel and are based at impressive workshops in Pompano Beach, FL. They have done a good job in recent years in ALMS and of course won the series with JJ [Lehto] and my ex-co driver Marco [Werner] last year and I'm certain that we'll be competitive this year. The atmosphere is really good throughout the team and it's an impressive squad of drivers for both cars. I'm really looking forward to be driving in ALMS regularly again this year and it's always good to drive the Audi R8."

Allan McNish (GB). Age: 35. Born: Dumfries, Scotland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

12 Hours of Sebring - third career appearance including 2005

American Le Mans Series record: 2000 LMP 900 Champion - 19 starts, 7 wins

"I'd love to win Sebring again after last year's victory with Audi UK but it will be tough - not only `internally' against Champion's `sister' car but the challenge from the Dyson team. But I'm certain the Audi R8 will again be strong and Champion will provide a potential race-winning car. Sebring is a fantastic race where the crowd is a major part of the atmosphere, which makes it a totally unique experience. Tom [Kristensen] and I join Champion for only Sebring and Le Mans, our main program is for Audi's `works' DTM program, but this type of racing is strongly in my mind."

Emanuele Pirro (It). Age: 43. Born: Rome, Italy. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

12 Hours of Sebring - seventh career appearance including 2005

American Le Mans Series record: 2001 LMP 900 Champion - 33 starts, 9 wins

"There is good motivation in the team which gives me confidence. I drove with Champion at Sebring and Le Mans last year. While I've driven many races with Frank, I've never shared a car with Allan [McNish] but our driving styles are well suited which means no one needs to make compromises which is very important. The Audi R8 gives me a lot of pleasure to drive. Sebring is a physically demanding track - more so than Le Mans. Like JJ [Lehto], since my Sebring victory [2000] I've always been in a competitive car but have just missed out on winning each time due to little problems. I hope it changes for 2005."

Dave Maraj, Team ADT Champion Racing Owner. "We are very excited going into this 2005 season and especially this first race. We have finished second four times in succession in Sebring. We feel that this year with the two car effort and with six of the world's best drivers, we finally will have the opportunity to win this prestigious event."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport. "Up till now the Audi R8 remains unbeaten in Sebring and this should also be the case in what is probably its last season. That's why we have made five of our best works drivers, who all know how to win at Sebring, available for Team ADT Champion Racing. At the same time the team will use this race as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans - a strategy that has often paid off in the previous years with a victory at Le Mans."