Audi Team wins at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. -- The potent Audi R8 team of drivers Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello recovered from an early-race spin and took advantage of a problem encountered by its strongest challenger to win the American LeMans Series GlobalCenter Sports...

MONTEREY, Calif. -- The potent Audi R8 team of drivers Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello recovered from an early-race spin and took advantage of a problem encountered by its strongest challenger to win the American LeMans Series GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships endurance race Sunday at Laguna Seca Raceway.

The win was the duo's fifth of the 2000 season in 10 ALMS races and the seventh win for Audi, but it did not come easy.

The car started on the pole, but fell to fifth in the early going as Jan Magnussen drove away from the field in a Panoz LMP-1. One hour into the two-hour, 45-minute race, Capello had worked his way to third when he tangled with a lapped car and spun in the track's tricky "Corkscrew" turn.

Later in the race, the Panoz car, with David Brabham having replaced Magnussen at the wheel, was enjoying a healthy lead when it developed an engine problem. The Audi co-driven by Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela held first until pitting with just under an hour left in the race. McNish, having taken over for Capello, moved past into the top spot with 50 minutes remaining and led the rest of the way.

The Pirro/Biela team finished second, 0.352-second behind, with JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller third in a BMW V12 LMR.

The Dodge Viper GTS-R of Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger scored the Dodge's 14th GTS class win in the last 16 ALMS races, while the BMW M3 of Hans Stuck and Boris Said won in the GT class, snapping a 13-race winning streak by Porsche.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Boris Said , Karl Wendlinger , Jorg Muller , Olivier Beretta , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto