Auburn Hills, Mich. -- At the final of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in Adelaide, Australia, on Dec. 31, some motorsport fans may not believe their eyes: In the land of "Crocodile Dundee," Audi drivers Allan McNish and ...
Auburn Hills, Mich. -- At the final of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in Adelaide, Australia, on Dec. 31, some motorsport fans may not believe their eyes: In the land of "Crocodile Dundee," Audi drivers Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello will defend their lead in the overall classification at the wheel of an Audi R8 sporting a crocodile design. "Australia is a country with a strong growth potential. Therefore it is an important market for Audi," explains Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport. "This unusual crocodile costume is a greeting to our Australian hosts."
<small>The Audi "Crocodile Edition" will be driven by Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello in the final round of the American Le Mans Series in Adelaide, Australia on December 31st.
Although Audi has already won the manufacturer and driver's titles in this year's ALMS before the season finale on Dec. 31, the Team Audi Sport North America is taking the Audi R8's first race on a city circuit very seriously. "Our aim is to win this race as well," declares team director Reinhold Joest. "It would be the crowning of a unique season."
Allan McNish anticipates temperatures of over 86 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the shade. "I'm flying to Australia a little earlier so I can acclimatize myself to the Australian heat," explains the current leader of the American Le Mans Series. In contrast, Frank Biela prepares himself for the 1000 kilometer race in Adelaide in a totally different way: "I use a computer game to familiarize myself with a city circuit. In the past, this has helped me learn race tracks that I did not know."
In Adelaide, only Rinaldo Capello has a theoretical chance to challenge teammate Allan McNish for the title. "But it's very unlikely, and apart from that, Allan really deserves this title," concedes the Italian. "Crocodile Dindo," as he was christened by his teammates, shares the "crocodile cockpit" of the R8 with Allan McNish. <pre> ALMS Drivers Point Standings: 1. Allan McNish (Audi R8) 249 2. Rinaldo Capello (Audi R8) 238 3. Emanuele Pirro (Audi R8) 226 4. Frank Biela (Audi R8) 225 5. Jorg Muller (BMW) 221 6. JJ Lehto (BMW) 220 7. Jan Magnussen (Panoz) 203 8. David Brabham (Panoz) 197 9. Bill Auberlen (BMW) 161 10. Hiroki Katoh (Panoz) 154
ALMS Manufacturers Point Standings 1. Audi 253 2. BMW 217 3. Panoz 198 4. Reynard 136 5. Lola 132 6. Cadillac 97
Adelaide's RACE OF A THOUSAND YEARS will be televised same day on a tape-delay basis on NBC from 2 to 4 p.m. on December 31st.