Final race for the Audi R8 in the USA Final start for the most successful Le Mans Prototype 62 wins in 79 races to date Unique livery for the race at Lime Rock Saturday, 1 July 2006, is an extremely special day for Audi Sport: The Audi R8 ...
Final race for the Audi R8 in the USA
Final start for the most successful Le Mans Prototype 62 wins in 79 races to date Unique livery for the race at Lime Rock Saturday, 1 July 2006, is an extremely special day for Audi Sport: The Audi R8 competes in its final race at Lime Rock Park near Lakeville (US state of Connecticut). With 62 wins from 79 races to date -- including five victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans -- the R8 is the most successful Le Mans Prototype of all time. At Lime Rock, Team Audi Sport North America starts a final time with the "good old" R8, before the new Audi R10 TDI -- the first diesel powered sportscar to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans -- also breaks cover in the American Le Mans Series.
Audi Sport has created a unique design for the R8 for its farewell race in the USA: The names of all 18 drivers who won a race with the R8 will be visible, and the names of the 23 race tracks worldwide on which a R8 won -- from the winning debut at Sebring in March 2000 to the 62nd victory in Houston a few weeks ago.
Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland), the 2006 American Le Mans Series championship leaders in the LM P1 category, will be at the controls of the R8 during its final race. Capello has scored 18 wins to date with the R8. Only Frank Biela with 21 victories has been more successful.
The circuit, located about 180 kilometres north of New York, is new for Capello and McNish but the Audi R8 is unbeaten at Lime Rock: Team ADT Champion Racing won in 2004 and '05 in Connecticut. Last year, Dave Maraj's team took pole-position and celebrated a one-two in the race. The circuit close to Lakeville is only 2.478 kilometres long. Marco Werner, who claimed pole-position last year with a time of 46.753 seconds, holds the lap-record. The race starts on Saturday, 1 July at 3:00 p.m. local time (9:00 p.m. in Germany).
Quotes before the race at Lime Rock
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "An important era for Audi Sport reaches an end with the final race for the Audi R8. The R8 is the most successful Le Mans Prototype ever and will quite possibly remain so. It would obviously be fantastic if the R8 could finish its career with a race win. Lime Rock is, however, a very special race track on which our 'old lady' certainly won't have everything her own way owing to the handicaps applied by the regulations."
Dindo Capello (Audi R8 #2): "Lime Rock is a new circuit for both Allan and I. Unfortunately there are only two free practice sessions beforehand. The track isn't very long, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to learn, and that tenths-of-seconds won't be important. The circuit is actually a little bumpier than the last track we visited at Mid-Ohio, which should play to the strengths of our R8. After the bad luck that Allan and I had at Le Mans, we definitely want to get a good result at Lime Rock."
Allan McNish (Audi R8 #2): "I've heard that the circuit is relatively easy. The fact is that there is hardly any time before qualifying to set-up the car, which could play into our hands since we know the R8, which is entering its final race, extremely well and won't need long to find a good set-up. The track is short and the lap time under 50 seconds, so we can expect a race with quite a few full-course yellows."
Dave Maraj (Team Director, Team Audi Sport North America): "Our team have achieved their greatest successes so far with the Audi R8 -- including the victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year which made a dream come true for me personally. The R8 is still an incredible car and actually too young for the museum. Everyone in our team will give everything to make sure this car will get the result it deserves in its final race."