BRASELTON, Ga. (January 23, 2002) -- Driving champion Emanuele Pirro, team champion Audi Sport North America and manufacturer champion Audi will defend their championships in the American Le Mans Series in the 2002 season, Audi has...
BRASELTON, Ga. (January 23, 2002) -- Driving champion Emanuele Pirro, team champion Audi Sport North America and manufacturer champion Audi will defend their championships in the American Le Mans Series in the 2002 season, Audi has announced.
The 2002 season begins with the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway on March 16. The Audi team has won the prestigious race the past two seasons.
Audi Sport North America will again campaign two Infineon Audi R8 Prototypes in the entire 10-race championship. The team won six of the eight events held in 2001, as well as its second consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Italian Pirro will again be paired with Frank Biela of Germany in what will be car #1 in 2002. Pirro and Biela scored three wins on the American Le Mans Series last season, taking the checkered flag in races at Mosport, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and in the season-ending Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The final win propelled Pirro into the driving championship for the season.
The second Audi will again be driven by Rinaldo Capello of Italy and Tom Kristensen of Denmark, who combined to win ALMS races in 2001 at Texas and Sears Point. Capello was also part of the winning team in last year's event at Sebring, joined by Laurent Aiello and the late Michele Alboreto.
For Sebring and Le Mans, Kristensen will move to join Biela and Pirro, the three having driven together to win the 2000 Sebring event and the last two runnings of Le Mans. Capello will be joined by Johnny Herbert and Christian Pescatori for the two races.
The Audi R8, which has achieved 20 victories in two years, is one of the most successful cars in sports car racing history. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi Head of Sport, said that the car is improved in detail for the 2002 season.
"The car and the new FSI engine still have potential that we want to exploit," he said.