Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada -- Two weeks after the narrow defeat at Portland, Audi is back on top in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The Audi sportscars will start the Canadian round of the ALMS at Mosport from the front row of the grid on ...
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada -- Two weeks after the narrow defeat at Portland, Audi is back on top in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The Audi sportscars will start the Canadian round of the ALMS at Mosport from the front row of the grid on Sunday. The strong qualifying performance of Audi was completed by the Champion team recording the fourth fastest time.
The Audi drivers were setting the pace on the undulating track close to Toronto from the start. Each practice session saw an Infineon R8 in front, during the final qualifying Rinaldo Capello was fastest with a time of 1:08.222 and 129 mph beating the track record set by Frank Biela last year. The German also went under his last year's record in 1:08.408.
Andy Wallace proved once again that the 2000-spec R8 is still competitive setting the fourth fastest time with a 1:09.8.
Despite an optimal starting position the Audi drivers expect a tough race. As the winding track is very hard on tires, race set-up will be crucial on Sunday. Apart from that, the winning Panoz from the last ALMS race at Portland was not able to show its best in qualifying after crashing in practice.
The race at Mosport starts on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Rinaldo Capello (#1) and Frank Biela (#2) are scheduled as start drivers of the two Infineon Audi R8 sportscars.
Quotes after qualifying Rinaldo Capello (#1): "I was not very confident before qualifying because I did not drive on Friday. But everything went very well. The car was just perfect and I could push from the beginning. On top of that I had no traffic at all."
Tom Kristensen (#1): "This is again a new circuit to me. It is very fast, but I learned it quite quickly. For sure it helps to be in an Audi. This morning we did some good setup changes which improved both the lap times and the consistency. The track is very tough for the front tires, but I think we have found a solution."
Frank Biela (#2): "I am content because we have a great car. I am upset because I gifted the pole position to the other car. In two corners I was not 100 percent perfect. But the car is very good, the guys did a very good job so far. Now we will try to do a successful race."
Emanuele Pirro (#2): "It looks fine for Audi. The difference between us and the others is quite big. I am confident, because the car was going very well both on full tanks and with less fuel and also produced very good lap times on used tires."
Johnny Herbert (#38): "Tomorrow is another day. It's disappointing to qualify only fourth having been consistently inside the top-three over the past two days but it's the race that counts. We had a good set-up earlier in the day and we'll be looking to find that again. I believe we'll be in good shape."
Andy Wallace (#38): "From the outset in qualifying, the Audi suffered from a handling problem. We had massive understeer which caused us to be around four-tenths slower than earlier in the day. It's a mystery. At the moment we think it could be the tires but we'll strip things down overnight and check it over."
Reinhold Joest, Team Director Audi Sport North America: "Unlike Portland, here we could improve after every practice session. We found more downforce at the front and more grip at the rear."
Audi Line-up #1 Infineon Audi R8, Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen #2 Infineon Audi R8, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro #38 Champion Audi R8, Andy Wallace and Johnny Herbert