Audi R8''s Dominate Le Mans Practice

Audi Sport R8's Dominate Le Mans Practice Le Mans, France, The Audi Sport R8's dominated practice today, Sunday, with the top three fastest times of this single day event held at the famed circuit. Allan McNish, in the number 78 R8, put in the...

Audi Sport R8's Dominate Le Mans Practice

Le Mans, France, The Audi Sport R8's dominated practice today, Sunday, with the top three fastest times of this single day event held at the famed circuit.

Allan McNish, in the number 78 R8, put in the fastest lap of 3:36.620 seconds on the 8.45-mile French circuit, with an average speed of nearly 150 m.p.h. "I'm very pleased to have been the fastest in such a short space of time and even more happy to see the other two Audi's in second and third positions," said McNish.

Shortly after setting fast time McNish went off course, "I really don't know what happened when I went off. I touched the brakes going into the Porsche Curves at 180 mph, but the next thing I remember was hitting the barrier. We'll check the data to see what caused the problem."

Former Grand Prix pilot Emanuele Pirro was second fastest with fellow ex-Formula One driver Michele Alboreto third to complete a magnificent clean-sweep of the top three positions for the Audi Team. This will be the team's second appearance at Le Mans with the goal of improving on their '99 debut of third and fourth place finishes.

"We had a special program for each car which was to work on the aerodynamics, on the set-up and using qualifying tires," remarked head of Audi Sport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Team Director Reinhold Joest commented, "considering that our programs were different on all three cars and that we finished one, two and three, is very satisfying. We will have work to do for the race, but we have achieved our goals for this practice."

"I am very excited as we continue to prepare for the race," said Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America. "The speed of the cars have been proven at Le Mans and if we can combine the dependability we realized in Sebring, we should be very competitive come June."

{TB} Unofficial Timing by Audi Sport Team Joest

1. Aiello/McNish/Ortelli Audi R8 3:36.628 2. Biela/Pirro Audi R8 3:37.219 3. Abt/Alboreto/Capello Audi R8 3:37.695 4. Schiatterella/de Radigues Lola-Judd 3:38.807 5. Gache/Formato Courage-Judd 3:39.806 6. Matthews/Johansson Reynard-Judd 3:40.313 7. Brabham/Magnussen Panoz 3:41.563 8. Katoh/O'Connell Panoz 3:42.073 9. Bernard/Collard Cadillac 3:43.000 10. Goossens/Tinseau Cadillac 3:44.465

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