Kristensen, Capello lead at halfway point at Road Atlanta

Kristensen, Capello lead at halfway point at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. -- After falling back to fifth early in the race, the yellow-trimmed Joest Racing Audi R8 of Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello led Stefan Johansson in the Champion Audi and Max Angelelli in the No. 8 Cadillac at the halfway point...

BRASELTON, Ga. -- After falling back to fifth early in the race, the yellow-trimmed Joest Racing Audi R8 of Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello led Stefan Johansson in the Champion Audi and Max Angelelli in the No. 8 Cadillac at the halfway point of the fifth annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

Tom Kristensen.
Photo by Richard Sloop.

The second Cadillac sat in fourth, followed by the No. 50 Panoz, and the No. 36 Riley & Scott.

The pole-sitting Audi of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro held the lead until Biela was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for forcing the No. 25 Saleen off the road while lapping the GTS car, just shy of the two-hour mark. Biela's rough driving opened the door for Capello, who maintained the lead until Johansson took his turn at the front of the field during the next round of pit stops.

When Johansson pitted about an hour later, Kristensen put the No. 2 Audi back out in front. Then, as Kristensen started to extend his lead over the Champion Audi, Pirro's Audi plowed into the back of Andy Wallace in the Dyson Racing MG/Lola, which had slowed on course due to a broken fuel line.

Pirro managed to nurse his ailing Audi back to the pits, while the Dyson car burst into flames, handing the lead in the LMP 675 class to the No. 11 KnightHawk Lola/MG. Ironically, the KnightHawk car would not have been able to start the race if the Dyson team had not lent them a spare transmission.

"I was running behind the MG when its engine blew and the car suddenly seized," Pirro said. "I had no chance to stop and damaged my left front bodywork."

In GTS, the Prodrive Ferrari driven by Alain Menu, Tomas Enge, and Peter Kox held a one-lap lead over the factory Corvette of Andy Pilgrim, Kelly Collins, and Franc Freon.

Meanwhile, the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 RS of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen had a commanding lead over the No. 31 Petersen Porsche of Randy Pobst, Johnny Mowlem, and Michael Petersen in the GT class.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Tomas Enge , Stefan Johansson , Tom Kristensen , Frank Biela , Andy Pilgrim , Randy Pobst , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Peter Kox , Max Angelelli , Johnny Mowlem , Michael Petersen , Alex Job , Alain Menu , Emanuele Pirro
Teams Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing