ADELAIDE, Australia -- Allan McNish overcame a sore back and cruised to the American Le Mans Series driving championship Sunday as he and teammate Rinaldo Capello scored a dominating victory in the Race of a Thousand Years on the Adelaide street circuit.
The Audi R8 of McNish and Capello finished 21 laps ahead of the second-place car in the six-hour sports car endurance race. McNish, who had injured his back a few days before the race, started the race and ulso drove the final stint on the 2.4-mile circuit. A crowd estimated at more than 130,000 attended the event.
"The car was very good all day," said McNish, who will be honored at an awards banquet Monday night in Adelaide. "We did the hard work at the beginning. Hopefully, tomorrow will be an easier day."
The second-place finisher was a Lola B2K driven by Franz Konrad, Charlie Slater and Alan Heath, while the GTS-class Chrysler Viper of Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy finished third. Beretta wrapped up his second consecutive GTS driving title.
A second Viper driven by Ni Amorim and Jean-Philippe Belloc finished fourth, with the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Dirk Muller and Sascha Maassen fifth. Muller clinched the GT driving championship for the 2000 season.