Audi to focus on driver's title at Las Vegas

Auburn Hills, Mich.-Looking to clinch the Drivers' Title, the Audi Sport team takes its drivers' point lead into Las Vegas for round eleven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). With its sixth consecutive 1-2 finish, Audi has won the ...

Auburn Hills, Mich.-Looking to clinch the Drivers' Title, the Audi Sport team takes its drivers' point lead into Las Vegas for round eleven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

With its sixth consecutive 1-2 finish, Audi has won the manufacturers' championship for the 2000 ALMS. This marks only the second time that the company has won a motorsports manufacturers' title on American soil. The first title was won by the legendary Group 44 team, fielding Audi 200 quattros, winning the 1988 Trans-Am drivers' and manufacturers' championships.

With their victory at Laguna Seca, Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello extended their 1-2 lead in the drivers' standings. McNish has amassed 237points, with co-driver Capello close at 227 points. McNish has the opportunity to win the ALMS drivers' title in Vegas. Teammates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro sit in fifth and sixth place with 214 and 213 drivers' points, respectively.

The 2.25-mile Las Vegas modified oval circuit will see the Audi R8s reach speeds of over 150 mph. Only a small portion of the oval is used, with the majority of the circuit comprised of the 14-turn infield road course.

This is the last race of the season for the Audi R8s in America, before the final round of the ALMS, scheduled for New Year's Eve in Adelaide, Australia.

Quotes for Las Vegas: Allan McNish (#77): "I have good memories of Las Vegas. I made my American race debut there in 1997 and won that race. The circuit is an oval with an infield section. Although you don't drive on the oval's high banking, you drive on the 'apron' at the bottom. It can be quite bumpy, so it keeps the overall speed down. Because of the sand that often covers the track, the surface becomes slippery. There will again be almost 40 cars in the race, so overtaking slower cars will be a key factor to success."

Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America: "The team has had an excellent run, with six 1-2 finishes in a row. It really shows the quality of the team, drivers and the preparation of the cars by Team Joest. We hope Vegas gives us the opportunity to add the drivers' title to the manufacturers' title."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi's Head of Sport, "I will be happy if we can clinch the drivers' title at Las Vegas so that it's not decided on New Year's Eve."

Reinhold Joest, Team Director, "It will be important to find a good compromise between the oval and the infield section with its many corners. But we managed to do this at Dallas."

<pre> Driver line-up for Las Vegas: Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish (#77) Emanuele Pirro/Frank Biela (#78)

ALMS Points Standings Heading into Laguna Seca: 1. Allan McNish Audi 237 2. Rinaldo Capello Audi 227 2. Jorg Muller BMW 221 4. JJ Lethto BMW 220 5. Frank Biela Audi 214 6. Emanuele Pirro Audi 213 7. Jan Magnussen Panoz 198 8. David Brabham Panoz 183 9. Hiroki Katoh Panoz 153 10. Johnny O'Connell Panoz 143

ALMS Manufacturers Standings: 1. Audi 242 - Manufacturers Champions 2. BMW 215 3. Panoz 194 4. Reynard 121 5. Lola 115 6. Cadillac 97

The Grand Prix of Las Vegas will be televised live on Speedvision starting at 3:00 p.m. EST. on Sunday, October 29.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Johnny O'Connell , Jorg Muller , Reinhold Joest , Emanuele Pirro , Hiroki Katoh