Ex-Formula 1 stars complete Audi teams

The driver squad of the Audi sports car teams for the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans has been completed with the signing of the two former Formula 1 drivers Johnny Herbert (England) and Allan McNish (Scotland) by Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx. Four...

The driver squad of the Audi sports car teams for the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans has been completed with the signing of the two former Formula 1 drivers Johnny Herbert (England) and Allan McNish (Scotland) by Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx. Four ex-Formula 1 drivers and eight Le Mans winners are now among the high-calibre line-up. Audi had already presented its works drivers for the assault on the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) at the end of November.

With support of Audi Sport and the Audi importers in Great Britain, Japan and North America, four Audi R8 prototypes, which will be entered by the Audi customer teams of Champion, Goh and Veloqx, will compete in the French long-distance classic on June 12/13.

The newly-formed Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx lines-up with two Audi R8 prototypes. Four of the six Veloqx drivers have already won the Le Mans 24 Hours at least once: Frank Biela (Germany) in 2000, 2001 and 2002, Johnny Herbert in 1991, Allan McNish in 1998, Guy Smith (Great Britain) last year. German Pierre Kaffer and Briton Jamie Davies complete the Le Mans squad of the British team. In preparation for the Le Mans event, Veloqx will contest the 12-hour race at Sebring on March 20 with the same driver squads. Long-time Formula 1 test driver Darren Turner (Great Britain) is the team^Òs reserve driver.

The American Team ADT Champion Racing and Team Goh from Japan each enter one Audi R8 at Le Mans. The Finn JJ Lehto (1995 winner), the Italian Emanuele Pirro (victorious in 2000, 2001 and 2002) and the German Marco Werner drive for Champion, while the Japanese driver Seiji Ara, last year^Òs winner Rinaldo Capello from Italy and five-time winner Tom Kristensen from Denmark (1997, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 winner) drive for Goh.

Goh (Ara/Capello) and Veloqx (Davies, Kaffer, McNish, Smith, Turner) also contest the new European Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) which, with a total of four races starting on May 9 at Monza (Italy), revives the classic 1000 kilometre races.

In the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), JJ Lehto and defending ALMS Champion Marco Werner set off on the title hunt in the Team ADT Champion Racing Audi R8. At the season opener in Sebring - as at Le Mans - they will be supported by DTM driver Emanuele Pirro.

"It speaks volumes for the Audi R8 that our customer teams can start with such high-calibre driver squads," explained Audi motorsport chief Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Whether it is Formula 1 stars, legends such as Paul Frère or newcomers like Pierre Kaffer and Jamie Davies: Up till now everybody who has driven an Audi R8 was impressed."

Audi Teams competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2004:

Audi Sport Japan Team Goh:
Seiji Ara (J), Rinaldo Capello (I), Tom Kristensen (DK)

Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx *:
Frank Biela (D), Jamie Davies (GB), Pierre Kaffer (D), Johnny Herbert (GB), Allan McNish (GB), Guy Smith (GB)

Team ADT Champion Racing:
JJ Lehto (FIN), Emanuele Pirro (I), Marco Werner (D)

Audi Teams competing in the 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series 2004 (LMES):

Audi Sport Japan Team Goh:
Seiji Ara (J), Rinaldo Capello (I)

Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx *:
Pierre Kaffer (D), Jamie Davies (GB), Allan McNish (GB), Guy Smith (GB), Darren Turner (GB)

Audi Team competing in the 2004 American Le Mans Series (ALMS):

Team ADT Champion Racing:
JJ Lehto (FIN), Marco Werner (D)

Audi Teams competing in the ALMS Sebring 12-hour race in 2004:

Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx *:
Frank Biela (D), Jamie Davies (GB), Pierre Kaffer (D), Johnny Herbert (GB), Allan McNish (GB), Guy Smith (GB)

Team ADT Champion Racing:
JJ Lehto (FIN), Emanuele Pirro (I), Marco Werner (D)

* The driver line-up for Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx's two cars have not yet been finalised

-www.audi-sportpress.com

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