Audi, Michelin lap the field at Sonoma

(Greenville, S.C.) - In a dominating performance that began in qualifying on Saturday, the Michelin-equipped Audi driven by Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello lapped the entire field earlier today to score the victory in the Grand Prix of...

(Greenville, S.C.) - In a dominating performance that began in qualifying on Saturday, the Michelin-equipped Audi driven by Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello lapped the entire field earlier today to score the victory in the Grand Prix of Sonoma, the fifth round of the 2000 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Sears Point Raceway. McNish recorded the fastest lap of the race en route to scoring Michelin's fifth victory of the 2000 ALMS season. McNish started the race from the pole after establishing a new track record in qualifying. McNish and Capello led the entire race except while making pit stops.

Audi teammates Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela finished second. Earlier this season, Audi swept the first three positions at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and scored the win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

After starting sixth, the Michelin-shod BMW V12 LMR driven by JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller rounded out the podium.

"The weather was very hot today and the track was very slippery, but the Michelin tires performed perfectly," said Jerry Rinaldo, Michelin Racing Manager. "Both of the Audis, which were running very quickly, were able to double-stint (not change tires on the first pit stop) at the beginning of the race. That says a lot about the durability of the Michelin tires."

Dodge Viper Wins Again
American drivers Tommy Archer and David Donohue scored their first GTS victory of the season in a Dodge Viper fitted with Michelin tires. Viper teammates Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger, who finished second in GTS today, have scored the other four GTS victories this season. In 2000, Dodge Vipers fitted with Michelin tires have won the 24 Hours of Daytona outright as well as GTS category events at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Dick Barber Porsche Finishes Second in GT Competition
In the closest and most-anticipated race of the weekend, the Dick Barbour Racing Porsche driven by Dirk Müller and Lucas Luhr led the first two hours of the race but eventually finished second to the BMW of Boris Said and Hans Stuck.

Statistically Speaking
By leading every lap today, Michelin teams have now led every one of the 882 laps in the 2000 ALMS season. With the win today, Michelin has won every one of the five ALMS races this season. With Audi's fastest lap today, Michelin teams have recorded the fastest lap in every ALMS race this season. With Audi's pole yesterday, Michelin teams have scored the overall pole position in every ALMS race this season.

Earlier this year, Michelin-shod cars won the 24 Hours of Daytona (Dodge Viper), the 12 Hours of Sebring (Audi) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Audi). In fact, Michelin has scored six of the last nine overall wins at Le Mans, including the three most recent. Michelin has also won the GTS category at Le Mans the past three years with Dodge Viper.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Allan McNish , Frank Biela , Boris Said , Karl Wendlinger , Jorg Muller , Tommy Archer , Lucas Luhr , David Donohue , Dick Barbour , Olivier Beretta , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto