The Audi "crocodile" car put the bite on the oppostion to take the inaugural American Le Mans Series Adelaide event in front of 80,000 racefans.

Allan McNish fought off a back injury to take the win with pole sitter Dindo Capello . McNish started the race and earned the 2000 championship after he completed 25 laps of the six hour event.

With McNish completing the event, stand-in driver Brad Jones did not get the chance to drive the car in the race.

In total, the winning squad completed 225 laps of the 3.8km circuit which continued its reputation as tough track on machinery.

"At the hospital on Friday night, the doctors were really good." McNish said.

"I was told to rest all day Saturday and not go near the car. After getting in the car today, I was very surprised to be able to do more than 25 laps."

"Brad Jones did a superb job in the car, it was a shame he didn't get a run tonight."

Privateer Lola squad Konrad motorsport took second place with team-owner Franz Konrad, Charlie Slater and local Adelaide driver Allan Heath behind the wheel.

But the biggest cheer was saved for the Panoz Aussie squad of David Brabham, Greg Murphy and Jason Bright.

The team twice had to undertake major repairs on the car after separate incidents for Murphy and Bright.

"I am part of a very special team. They did a great job in getting us back on the track," Brabham said.

"When we walked onto the podium, the crowd was fantastic - it was a brilliant atmosphere."

Other stars to strike trouble included the #78 Audi of Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela which hit the wall at Banana Bend after Pirro clashed with the Konrad Lola.

The Rafanelli Lola also cruelly missed on a podium spot after transmission failure late in the race.

The Oreca Chrysler Viper squad earned a "Three-out-of-Four" bonus by taking victory in the GTS division with Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy behind the wheel. The win also clinched the GTS title for Beretta.

Porsche GT3-R driver Dirk Muller also earned the GT championship after taking victory for Lucas Luhr. All four Dick Barbour Racing drivers had the chance of taking the championship, but an early flat tyre for Bob Wollek turned the tables for Muller.


PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1. Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish Audi R8 225 laps 2. Franz Konrad/Charlie Slater/Allan Heath Lola 204 laps 3. David Brabham/Greg Murphy/Jason Bright Panoz LMP-1 190 laps

GTS DIVISION 1. Olivier Beretta/Karl Wendlinger/Dominque Dupuy Chrysler Viper 202 laps 2. Jean-Phillipe Belloc/Ni Amorim Chrysler Viper 202 laps 3. Milka Duno/Stephen Watson/Ray Lintott Chrysler Viper 190 laps

GT DIVISION 1. Lucas Luhr/Dirk Muller Porsche GT3-R 199 laps 2. Randy Wars/John Graham/Christian Menzel Porsche GT3-R 191 laps 3. Terry Borcheller/Anthony Lazzaro BMW M3 191 laps

--Paul Ryan - -