Long Beach: Audi race report

1-2 finish at Long Beach in 25th race of Audi R10 TDI Ingolstadt/Long Beach -- In the 25th race of the Audi R10 TDI, the car scored a historic 1-2 victory at the Long Beach (California) round of the American Le Mans Series. After the success at...

1-2 finish at Long Beach in 25th race of Audi R10 TDI

Ingolstadt/Long Beach -- In the 25th race of the Audi R10 TDI, the car scored a historic 1-2 victory at the Long Beach (California) round of the American Le Mans Series. After the success at St Petersburg a fortnight ago, the diesel-powered sportscar won a street race for the second time in a row. With Lucas Luhr/Marco Werner taking their personal as well as Audi's second win in three races in 2008, the German works drivers extended their lead in the championship standings.

Having started from sixth position on the grid after a tight qualifying session, Lucas Luhr improved to fourth position at the wheel of the #2 Audi R10 TDI in the early laps of the 100-minute race. When the German driver was due to hand the car over to his team-mate, he held second position. Marco Werner returned on ninth overall position into the race after a full pit stop including the driver change.

Meanwhile, Frank Biela who had started from seventh place improved to sixth position that he held throughout his stint. In lap 43, he was due for his pit stop including a driver change to Emanuele Pirro. Only two lap later, however, debris on the track caused a full course yellow period of four laps. With more than have the race gone, Audi didn't seem to be the likely winner.

However, both Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro made best use of the Audi TDI power and grabbed back position after position. In lap 57, Marco Werner passed Porsche driver Romain Dumas and took the lead.

After a third and final safety car phase between lap 58 to lap 60, Emanuele Pirro overtook Romain Dumas as well and completed the Audi 1-2 victory. In 25 races, the Audi R10 TDI has scored 15 victories so far, emphasizing its strengths once again even on a type of circuit it has never been designed for.

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Audi Sport and the team of Audi Sport North America can be really proud of this success. The Audi R10 TDI has not been developed with street circuits in mind. So it is all the more a great performance that we succeeded in clinching two consecutive races on this type of track. There is no better finish we could have wished for on the 25th anniversary race of the R10 TDI."

Lucas Luhr (Audi R10 TDI #2): "It is a tremendous success for us, for Audi, for Team Champion and for Audi Sport North America. I think our boss Dr Ullrich will be delighted as well. The 1-2 finish was the icing on the cake. It was a thrilling race. Towards the end, Marco drove such a strong race that I could hardly watch at it -- I had to turn away from the screens. This was fantastic. Marco and myself both felt a bit sick in the stomach so victory feels even sweeter."

Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "It was a fantastic race for Audi. We have been very happy after last year's result. This is what we wanted although we didn't expect it. After qualifying, we knew that it would become very hard. But it was okay. Thanks to TDI power, we have set the pace on the straights and we managed to clinch position after position so we won the race. I want to thank everybody."

Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1): "A superb result for Audi. After qualifying, you wouldn't have necessarily expected a 1-2 finish. It was quite tight in qualifying so we have hoped for a good result, but I wouldn't have put my money on it. Both cars worked well. In the first ten minutes, I was struggling a little bit with tyre temperatures and grip but then it worked out perfectly for the remainder of my one-hour stint. We worked our way through the field during several caution periods."

Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1): "I was never very good in history but I think it is exceptional that we scored two consecutive wins for Audi on two street circuits. Especially here, it was great as I like the circuit and I have enjoyed the rac very much. We haven't been very strong at the beginning but later on we got much stronger and drove a good race. I'm really pleased especially as we did a 1-2. Such a result in this series is really nice."

Dave Maraj (Director Audi Sport Team North America): "It was a great team effort by everybody. The drivers did a great job. Also, we had a very good strategy. To win here was very difficult. But to come home 1-2 was really a surprise to me. Congratulations to the whole team."

-credit: audi motorsport

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Frank Biela , Lucas Luhr , Marco Werner , Romain Dumas , Dave Maraj , Emanuele Pirro