ALMS Teams win three classes

American Le Mans Series teams win three classes at Le Mans; American drivers contribute to three class wins. LE MANS, France (June 16, 2002) -- Including a history-making performance by Audi Sport North America, teams from the American Le Mans...

American Le Mans Series teams win three classes at Le Mans; American drivers contribute to three class wins.

LE MANS, France (June 16, 2002) -- Including a history-making performance by Audi Sport North America, teams from the American Le Mans Series took the overall win and two other class wins in the 70th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

In addition, three of the 26 American drivers who participated in the race were on class-winning teams in the world's most famous endurance race, which concluded at 4 p.m. (Le Mans time) on Sunday. More than 220,000 spectators were on hand for the event.

Audi Sport North America, the two-time and defending champion of the American Le Mans Series, became the first team ever to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans three straight years with the same drivers. Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and defending ALMS champion Emanuele Pirro dominated the race in their Audi R8 Prototype to take a one-lap victory. Two other cars fielded by the factory Audi team finished second and third to give Audi a sweep of the podium.

Corvette Racing, which won the GTS class team championship in the American Le Mans Series last year, endured to score its second straight one-two finish in the GTS class at Le Mans. The Michigan-based team's yellow Chevrolet Corvette C5-R machines ran like clockwork for 24 hours, with the first-place car finishing 11th overall. Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Oliver Gavin were the winning drivers.

In its first-ever trip to Le Mans, The Racers Group team from Sonoma, Calif., won the hotly-contested GT class by less than a lap. Owner/driver Kevin Buckler and Porsche factory drivers Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard enjoyed the view from the top of the victory podium, finishing 16th overall among the 27 cars still running at the finish.

In addition to O'Connell, who lives in Flowery Branch, Ga., and Buckler, from Novato, Calif., American Butch Leitzinger of State College, Penn., was also part of a class-winning team. Leitzinger co-drove with Andy Wallace and Eric van de Poele to the LMGTP class win in a Bentley Speed 8, finishing fourth overall.

With the race concluded, American Le Mans Series teams have already begun the task of packing their cars and equipment for the return to the United States. The American Le Mans Series resumes with an event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on June 30, with another event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on week later.

American Le Mans Series teams that participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and how they finished:

AUDI SPORT NORTH AMERICA (Audi R8): 1st overall, 1st in LMP 900 class (Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen, Emanuele Pirro); second car 2nd overall, 2nd in LMP 900 class (Johnny Herbert, Rinaldo Capello, Christian Pescatori); third car 3rd overall, 3rd in LMP 900 class (Philipp Peter, Marco Werner, Michael Krumm).

TEAM CADILLAC (Cadillac Northstar LMP 02): 9th overall, eighth in LMP 900 class (Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli, Christophe Tinseau); second car 12th overall, 10th in LMP 900 class (Eric Bernard, JJ Lehto, Emmanuel Collard).

CORVETTE RACING (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R): 11th overall, 1st in GTS class (Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Oliver Gavin); second car 13th overall, 2nd in GTS class (Andy Pilgrim, Franck Freon, Kelly Collins).

THE RACERS GROUP (Porsche 911 GT3 RS): 16th overall, 1st in GT class (Kevin Buckler, Lucas Luhr, Timo Bernhard).

SEIKEL MOTORSPORT (Porsche 911 GT3 RS): 22nd overall, 4th in GT class (Fabio Rosa, Luca Drudi, Luca Riccitelli).

KONRAD MOTORSPORT (Saleen S7R): 26th overall, 7th in GTS class (Terry Borcheller, Franz Konrad, Toni Seiler); second car not running at finish (Charles Slater, Walter Brun) (fuel pump).

PANOZ MOTOR SPORTS (Panoz LMP-1): LMP 900 class, not running at finish (David Brabham, Jan Magnussen, Bryan Herta); not running at finish (Bill Auberlen, Gunnar Jeannette, David Donohue). (both overheating)

MBD SPORTSCARS (Panoz LMP07-Mugen): LMP 900 class, not running at finish (Didier de Radigues, Milka Duno, John Graham). (electrical)

KNIGHTHAWK RACING (MG Lola EX257): LMP 675 class, not running at finish (Steve Knight, Mel Hawkins, Duncan Dayton). (fire)

ORBIT RACING (Porsche 911 GT3 RS): GT class, not running at finish (Leo Hindery, Peter Baron, Tony Kester). (transmission)

The 26 American drivers who participated in the race and how they finished:

BILL AUBERLEN, Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Panoz Motor Sports, Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), not running at finish. (overheating)

PETER BARON, San Mateo, Calif.; Orbit Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), not running at finish. (transmission)

T.J. BELL, Sparks, Nev.; Team Ascari, Ascari-Judd (LMP 900), not running at finish. (accident)

TERRY BORCHELLER, Phoenix; Konrad Motor Sport, Saleen S7R (GTS), 7th in class, 26th overall.

KEVIN BUCKLER, Novato, Calif.; The Racers Group, Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1st in class, 16th overall.

KELLY COLLINS, Corona del Mar, Calif.; Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (GTS), 2nd in class, 13th overall.

DUNCAN DAYTON, North Salem, N.Y.; KnightHawk Racing, MG Lola EX257 (LMP 675), not running at finish. (fire)

DAVID DONOHUE, Malvern, Penn.; Panoz Motor Sports, Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), not running at finish. (overheating)

JIM DOWNING, Atlanta; AutoExe Motorsports, AutoExe 02-Mazda (LMP 675), not running at finish. (engine)

DR. STEPHEN EARLE, Garden Ridge, Tex.; JMB Racing, Ferrari 360 Modena (GT), not running at finish. (engine)

JOHN FERGUS, Powell, OH; AutoExe Motorsports, AutoExe 02-Mazda (LMP 675), not running at finish. (engine)

MEL HAWKINS, Scottsdale, Az.; KnightHawk Racing, MG Lola EX257 (LMP 675), not running at finish. (fire)

BRYAN HERTA, Valencia, Calif.; Panoz Motor Sports, Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), not running at finish. (overheating)

LEO HINDERY, Hillsborough, Calif.; Orbit Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), not running at finish. (transmission)

GUNNAR JEANNETTE, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Panoz Motor Sports, Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), not running at finish. (overheating)

STEVE KNIGHT, Castle Rock, Col.; KnightHawk Racing, MG Lola EX257 (LMP 675), not running at finish. (fire)

TONY KESTER, Michigan City, Ind.; Orbit Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, (GT), not running at finish. (transmission)

BUTCH LEITZINGER, State College, Penn.; Team Bentley, Bentley Speed 8 (LM GTP), 1st in class, 4th overall.

JIM MATTHEWS, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Riley & Scott Racing, R&S MkIIIC-Elan, (LMP 900), not running at finish. (engine)

CHRIS MCALLISTER, Indianapolis; JMB Racing, Ferrari 360 Modena (GT), not running at finish. (engine)

JOHNNY O'CONNELL, Flowery Branch, Ga; Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (GTS), 1st in class, 11th overall.

ANDY PILGRIM, Aventura, Fla.; Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (GTS), 2nd in class, 13th overall.

GARY SCHULTHEIS, Boca Raton, Fla.; JMB Racing, Ferrari 360 Modena (GT), not running at finish. (engine)

CHARLES SLATER, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Konrad Motorsport, Saleen S7R (GTS), not running at finish. (fuel pump)

WAYNE TAYLOR, Altamonte Springs, Fla.; Team Cadillac, Cadillac Northstar LMP02 (LMP 900), 8th in class, 9th overall.

CORT WAGNER, Santa Monica, Calif.; JMB Racing, Ferrari 360 Modena (GT), not running at finish. (accident)

-alms-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS , Le Mans
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Johnny Herbert , Duncan Dayton , David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Franz Konrad , Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , Bryan Herta , Christian Pescatori , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Franck Freon , Andy Pilgrim , Emmanuel Collard , Wayne Taylor , Eric van de Poele , Christophe Tinseau , John Graham , Kelly Collins , Lucas Luhr , Walter Brun , Kevin Buckler , Peter Baron , Tony Kester , Oliver Gavin , David Donohue , Gunnar Jeannette , Timo Bernhard , Max Angelelli , Marco Werner , Steve Knight , Toni Seiler , Luca Riccitelli , Luca Drudi , Corona del Mar , Philipp Peter , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing