ADT Champion Racing on Podium at Mosport International Raceway
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada. (August 8, 2004) - JJ Lehto (Finland) and Marco Werner (Germany), drivers for Team ADT Champion Racing, drove a stellar race today at Mosport International Raceway but it just wasn't enough to capture the win. Trouble with tire wear along with a perfect run by the No.16 Dyson team ended ADT Champion Racing's winning streak. The No. 38 Audi R8 would finish 18-seconds behind the winning car of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger (Dyson Racing).
Marco Werner started the 2:45 minute race in second position and remained behind the No. 16 Dyson car throughout his stint. When fuel ran low one hour into the race, Werner pitted and teammate JJ Lehto jumped in. Lehto closed the gap, took over the lead and all looked well until time came for another fuel stop. With the top two cars performing very competitively, the team decided to save some time by putting just fuel in the car and not doing a tire change. That decision would cost them the race.
JJ experienced excessive tire wear unlike previously in the week when temperatures were cool and cloudy. Race conditions today were sunny and much warmer so the track temperature rose considerably.
As JJ blazed around the 2.459-mile track, the four Michelin tires started giving way. Finally a tire puncture occurred in the left front tire and JJ went off at Turn 5, Moss Corner. No damage was done to the car but the mishap sent Champion Racing's Audi R8 into the pits. Four fresh tires were put on and JJ was able to close the gap but could never quite catch the pole setting No. 16 Dyson Lola/AER.
The American Le Mans Series visits Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin two weeks from today. The Road America 500, August 20-22, will host Round Seven for the American Le Mans Series.
JJ Lehto (Finland): "The tire blew up on me and that was that. We should have changed the tires at the first pit stop but we didn't. The Dyson team ran perfectly today and we didn't."
Marco Werner (Germany): "I'm a little bit disappointed because it was possible for us to win this race, but JJ had a problem with the tires and hit a wall and then we had to have another pit stop. We lost the race right there. But, we'll look forward to the next race at Road America."
Brad Kettler (Technical Director): "The No. 16 Dyson was very good today. They've been quicker than us all week in practice. We played what tactics we could to try and beat them and it just didn't work out. The tire wear was a lot higher than we had seen previously. The left front tire suffered a puncture, which put us out of contention for the race. So finishing 18 seconds back after all that is not too bad."