Audi ready for Road Atlanta

Auburn Hills, Mich., The Audi Sport team is ready for round nine of the ALMS season. The Petit Le Mans Presented by Audi is a 10-hour race that will have serious implications on the driver point standings. Founded in 1998, the Petit Le Mans...

Auburn Hills, Mich., The Audi Sport team is ready for round nine of the ALMS season. The Petit Le Mans Presented by Audi is a 10-hour race that will have serious implications on the driver point standings.

Founded in 1998, the Petit Le Mans is gaining recognition as one of the countries premier endurance races along side Sebring. It pays five extra driver points and guarantees the winner a place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001.

Audi driver Allan McNish is currently five points behind series leader Jorg Mueller. Mueller's BMW team has had consistent top five finishes all season, accumulating valuable driver points.

The Audi team's finishing order for races over three hours has been an undefeated one this season. Wins in the 12-Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans have highlighted the competitive Audi year.

Prior to the race, the team had a chance to test at the 2.45-mile Road Atlanta circuit, giving the Audi pilots a look at the circuit only McNish had driven before.

Rejoining the team for this 1000km event is Michele Alboreto and Tom Kristensen. Kristensen will join Audi regulars Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro in an attempt to sweep the ALMS endurance races having won Sebring and Le Mans.

Tom Kristensen (#78): "Petit Le Mans is a real classic and I'm really looking forward to the weekend with my teammates - after all, the three of us seem to be on a winning streak this year."

Frank Biela (#78), "Petit Le Mans holds a very special meaning. Due to the longer distance, five extra points for every placing will be awarded. With just three rounds left to run, this is an excellent opportunity for the Audi works drivers to make up more ground to the leader, or to even take the drivers championship lead. Road Atlanta is a key race for us. It will be decisive in our fight for the title."

Allan McNish (#77): "The fact that the majority of us haven't raced at Atlanta before won't be a major problem - that's been the case at most ALMS races this year. We have the opportunity to test most of the week so that will enable us to tune the car to the track. Having finished second at Sebring and Le Mans this season, I'm determined to win this race.

Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America: "The drivers points championship lead is the immediate goal. The cars and drivers have proven themselves in the long races, but Atlanta will have a full field and one of the most competitive of the year." <pre> Audi R8 line-up for Atlanta: #77 Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello/Michele Alboreto #78 Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Tom Kristensen

ALMS Points Standings Heading into Atlanta: 1. Jorg Muller BMW 182 2. JJ Lethto BMW 179 3. Allan McNish Audi 177 4. Rinaldo Capello Audi 171 5. Frank Biela Audi 167 6. Emanuele Pirro Audi 164 7. Jan Magnussen Panoz 164 8. David Brabham Panoz 150 9. Bill Auberlen BMW 125 10. Hiroki Katoh Panoz 121

ALMS Manufacturers Standings: 1. Audi 187 2. BMW 176 3. Panoz 160 4. Reynard 95 5. Lola 86 6. Cadillac 65

Audi 2000 ALMS Season: Sebring Qualify one and two, finish first and second, fast lap of race

Charlotte Qualify second and fourth, finish sixth and twentieth - 1999 R8R's

Silverstone Qualify one and two, finish third and eighth - 1999 R8R's

Le Mans Qualify first, second and third, finish first, second and third, fastest lap

Nurburgring Qualify one and two, finish third and thirtieth, fastest race lap

Sears Point Qualify first and second, finish first and second, fastest race lap, McNish new track record

Mosport Qualify first and third, finish first and seventeenth, fastest race lap, Biela new track record

Texas       Qualify first and second, finish first and second, fastest race 
lap, McNish             establishes track record

Portland Qualify first and second, finish first and fourth, Capello new track record

The race will be televised live on Speedvision starting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 30.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Michele Alboreto , Emanuele Pirro , Hiroki Katoh