Narrow miss for Dodge Viper Team Oreca in Atlanta

</pre> Road Atlanta, Georgia, September 30, 2000 - Dodge Viper Team ORECA missed victory at the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series, the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, by the narrowest of margins. Tommy Archer led the ...

</pre> Road Atlanta, Georgia, September 30, 2000 - Dodge Viper Team ORECA missed victory at the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series, the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, by the narrowest of margins. Tommy Archer led the GTS-class comfortably in the Dodge Viper GTS R/T before a full course caution period during which the second-placed Corvette closed behind the pace car. Archer defended hard but could not maintain his lead and finished second.

Early leaders Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Marc Duez lost the lead of the class when their battery failed, losing ten minutes and a two-lap lead. The trio drove hard to make up the gap but missed out on the podium. David Donohue, Boris Derichebourg Jean-Philippe Belloc were fifth in the third Dodge Viper GTS R/T.

"We just didn't quite have enough," said Archer, who shared with Patrick Huisman and Boris Derichebourg. "I turned a 1m22s lap flat just a few laps from the end, but the Corvette had a little in reserve. It is hard, losing a race with two laps left."

Olivier Beretta, who led the race in the opening hour, said: "I did everything that I could and I am happy with our race. I had a good start and pushed, but then we had a penalty, then the battery failed. Congratulations to GM, they drove a good race. We won here last year, we won Daytona and we won Le Mans so I am still happy.

Hugues de Chaunac, Director of Viper Team ORECA, added: "It is disappointing to lose a nine-hour event just two laps from the end, but I think it was a fantastic race. GM led, we led and I think that we were a little unlucky with the final yellow, or our competitors were lucky! The race was two laps too long. We lost our leading car through a battery problem that was a real blow. Racing is racing, sometimes it is good, sometimes it is unkind. We were faster than the Corvette and we set the fastest lap. The main thing is that we were quick enough, just unlucky."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Tommy Archer , Patrick Huisman , David Donohue , Jean-Philippe Belloc , Boris Derichebourg , Olivier Beretta , Marc Duez , Hugues de Chaunac