CAPELLO: 2009 PETIT LE MANS FINISH NOT SO UNIQUE Audi's Italian star was on the winning end of such a finish in 1994 Audi Sport's Dindo Capello won't soon forget last year's bizarre ending to Petit Le Mans - mostly because it was nearly a replay...
CAPELLO: 2009 PETIT LE MANS FINISH NOT SO UNIQUE
Audi's Italian star was on the winning end of such a finish in 1994
Audi Sport's Dindo Capello won't soon forget last year's bizarre ending to Petit Le Mans - mostly because it was nearly a replay of a race 15 years earlier. Let's flashback a year to a week of torrential rains at Road Atlanta that eventually caused the race to be halted near the 4:50 mark and eventually called at 8:44 running due to safety concerns.
It brought an early end to another clash between Audi and Peugeot, a race that saw Audi lead 161 of 184 laps. Unfortunately for Capello - and teammate Allan McNish - the French marque led the last 13 laps. Capello, McNish and Tom Kristensen will try to help Audi gain a bit of revenge as part of a two-car effort with the diesel-powered Audi R15 TDI.
"For sure it's not to so nice to finish a race under a red flag - especially in such a long race," said Capello, who has won more overall races at Petit Le Mans (five) than any other driver. "When they stopped the race, it was less than half of the 1,000 miles that we should have done. We had the lead for such a long time and got the red flag in the wrong moment."
Capello was in a similar situation early in his career with Audi. That time, the red flag flew his way in a 1994 Italian Touring Car race at the Mugello circuit.
"There was such rain that they stopped the race with a red flag after three- quarters of the distance. It's a shame that in my first victory with Audi, I didn't get the checkered flag - I got the red flag! It was a big, big rain and we were aquaplaning everywhere. I was leading with a big gap and suddenly they stopped the race. It was a little bit like Petit Le Mans... just different positions."
The final round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA 2 at Road Atlanta. The 1,000- mile/10-hour race is set for 11:20 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 2. SPEED will air the race starting at 11 a.m., with live radio coverage available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream qualifying live starting at 3:15 p.m. ET on Friday, October 1. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.