Road Atlanta: Series news on Audi lineup

PETIT THREE-PEAT FOR CAPELLO, McNISH? Dindo Capello and Allan McNish get their chance to write another historic chapter at Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 as Audi Sport North America has added the two-time defending race...

PETIT THREE-PEAT FOR CAPELLO, McNISH?

Dindo Capello and Allan McNish get their chance to write another historic chapter at Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 as Audi Sport North America has added the two-time defending race champions to its two-car lineup. Capello and McNish, reigning champions at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Tom Kristensen, will team with Emanuele Pirro in one of Audi's diesel-powered R10 TDIs.

The addition of Capello and McNish gives the race another marquee lineup in addition to those from the likes of Peugeot, Porsche and Acura in what already was the strongest entry list in the history of the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic. Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr, who earned the Series' LMP1 championship at Detroit in the previous round, will drive the No. 2 entry.

Audi has never lost at Road Atlanta since debuting there in 2000. No driver since Tom Kristensen in 2002 has won both Petit Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year. Pirro and Frank Biela accomplished the feat in 2001.

McNish and Capello can become the first drivers to win Petit Le Mans three consecutive years. The only other driver to earn back-to-back Petit Le Mans wins is JJ Lehto, who won in 2003 and 2004. Capello has four victories while McNish has three. Meanwhile Pirro has two victories and Werner one.

"This year we won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series and the Le Mans Series in Europe with the R10 TDI," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Obviously we'd like to continue our winning streak in the American Le Mans Series' most important race alongside Sebring. In the shape of Acura, Peugeot and Porsche we have very strong competitors, some of which have also strengthened their driving squad. I'm convinced that we are in a good position with our driver lineup."

Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 is the 10th round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. The 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Saturday, October 4 from Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED will televise the race live with XM Satellite Radio airing live race coverage throughout the day on Channel 166. Live coverage from American Le Mans Radio will be available at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.

-credit: alms

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Lucas Luhr , Marco Werner , Dindo Capello , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto