Lola Cars Petit Le Mans race report

Lola won the American Le Mans Series LMP675 Chassis Manufacturer's title with a fantastic second-placed finish at the final round, the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Ben Devlin, Jason Workman and Andrew Davies brought their ...

Lola won the American Le Mans Series LMP675 Chassis Manufacturer's title with a fantastic second-placed finish at the final round, the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

Ben Devlin, Jason Workman and Andrew Davies brought their Nissan-powered Archangel Motorsport Lola home in second after nine-and-a-quarter hours of racing to claim the title by a single point for the British manufacturer.

Their only malady was getting stuck in fifth gear towards the end of the race, preventing them from making a final fuel stop. "It was really a matter of coming into the pits because we couldn't get started if we came in while stuck in fifth gear," said Workman.

"I am so happy I really don't know what to say," said Devlin, who helped Lola to the SR2 title in the Grand-Am Championship. "We struggled on power all weekend and got stuck in fifth gear at the end of the race, but we knew that we just had to keep running and we would finish well. "The day got off to a bad start for Lola when John Field was pushed into a spin before the green flag, sending the American's Intersport Racing Lola B2K/10 into the wall under the starter's tower and damaging the rear of the car extensively.

Claudia Huertgen led the 675 category in the early stages in her Knight Hawk Racing Lola B2K/40, but her co-drivers had less luck. An accident damaged the steering and cost the team 15 minutes, and the car eventually retired with a broken drive-shaft. Emanuele Pirro won the overall championship in his Audi R8 shared with Frank Biela, the pair winning by a comfortable three laps from the Gulf Audi of Stefan Johansson and Patrick Lemarie. Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello could have claimed the championship from Pirro, but Kristensen crashed out in the first hour while leading. Their demise, and Biela's joint win with Pirro, ensured a 1-2 finish in the title for Pirro and Biela. Andy Wallace and Johnny Herbert were third in the Champion Audi after the Panoz of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen crashed. Brabham was challenging for the lead, but attempted to squeeze between the Audi and a GTS-class car, causing heavy rear-end damage to the Panoz. The team repaired it in 40 minutes, and it returned to action to finish in the top ten.

Terry Borcheller won the GTS drivers' title in his Saleen S7R after rival Ron Fellows had his Corvette excluded in the first hour for having outside assistance repairing the Corvette by the track. Jorg Muller became the GT champion in his Schnitzer BMW, finishing second to Bill Auberlen, Hans Stuck and BorisSaid. The German was penalised a minute when he cleaned the windscreen for his co-driver Dirk Muller, the stewards deeming that too many people were working on the car during its stop.

Championship rival and erstwhile co-driver JJ Lehto had a collision witha prototype that caused a puncture, then co-driver Karl Wendlinger had a collision with a GT Porsche that damaged the BMW's steering.

-Lola Cars-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , David Brabham , Stefan Johansson , Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Patrick Lemarié , Ron Fellows , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Ben Devlin , Terry Borcheller , Jason Workman , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto