Bowmanville, Ontario, The Audi R8's finished first and seventeenth in a rain filled round six American Le Mans Series race at the Globemegawheels.com Grand Prix of Mosport. The Audi, still on rain tires on a drying track, was being caught...
Bowmanville, Ontario, The Audi R8's finished first and seventeenth in a rain filled round six American Le Mans Series race at the Globemegawheels.com Grand Prix of Mosport.
The Audi, still on rain tires on a drying track, was being caught by the slick trod BMW at a feverish pace. Entering the last corner Rinaldo Capello made the Audi wide and it was a drag race to the checkered flag with the number 42 BMW of Jorg Mueller to take the victory by two-hundredths of a second. "The car was moving everywhere on the track with the rain tires. I saw him at the exit of the Moss hairpin and I defended the position at the end of the straight into the last corner and was able to take the win," said Capello.
The race went arai from the beginning when the first start was aborted. Soon after the race was restarted the rain came and surprised the field which all started on slick tires. The first of some six yellows appeared and the field pitted for rains. On the restart Frank Biela spun coming onto the main straight causing him to recover at the back of the field. "I came onto the front straight and spun. The track was very slippery. I believe we were on a different compound tire than the 77 car," said Biela.
Allan McNish in the number 77 Audi set out on a terror from the beginning he assumed the lead of the race on lap 18 from Jan Magnussen in the Panoz. "I was battling with Magnussen and then was able to pass. The battle was great. We were quicker and then with clear track I was able to pull away. Every time I built a gap there was a yellow. It is very tricky trying to keep the car on the island which I couldn't do at Nurburgring," said McNish.
The number 77 R8 driven by Emanuele Pirro pitted for slick tires on lap 82 and began to steadily catch his teammate. On lap 85 Pirro tangled with the number 66 Porsche taking the Audi into the gravel trap in turn 8 and ending the day. " I was really motivated to get into the car. When I pitted for the slick tires I was able to pursue my teammate until I had the misunderstanding with the back marker that ended our race," said Pirro.
"What an exciting race. It came right down to the wire and Dindo was able to pull it out. It is unfortunate what happened to Pirro, but it was a pretty good day for the Audi crew," said Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America.
Mosport Top Ten: 1. Capello/McNish Audi 94 laps 2. Lehto/Mueller BMW 94 3. Auberlen/Gounon BMW 93 4. Berretta/Wendlinger Viper 91 GTS 5. Fellows/Pilgrim Corvette 91 GTS 6. Archer/Donohue Viper 91 GTS 7. Johansson/Smith Reynard 90 8. O'Connell/Katoh Panoz 89 9. Lambert/Pobst Porsche 89 GT 10. Stuck/Said BMW 88 GT 17. Biela/Pirro Audi 85