IN HIS OWN WORDS: MARCO WERNER Braselton, Ga. - Can anyone stop Marco Werner? Lately, the answer has been no. The German has won eight of the last 10 American Le Mans Series events dating back to the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio nearly a year ...
IN HIS OWN WORDS: MARCO WERNER
Braselton, Ga. - Can anyone stop Marco Werner? Lately, the answer has been no. The German has won eight of the last 10 American Le Mans Series events dating back to the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio nearly a year ago. In three weeks, the ALMS returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Werner and teammate JJ Lehto having swept the series' first two rounds in the No. 1 Champion Racing Audi R8. Beyond Mid-Ohio is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the team of Werner, Lehto and Tom Kristensen are one of the favorites to win the overall title.
What does Werner think about the start to his ALMS career? Can he win at Le Mans for the first time? And what is the secret to Audi's success? Let him tell you:
Q: Thirteen wins in 20 starts. When you joined the series in '03, did you envision that kind of success?
Marco Werner: No, definitely not. I am very surprised and very proud because this is the best series with the best cars, and I was never a part of that level before. I was never on the same level with Formula 1 drivers like JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert or famous sports car drivers like James Weaver. It is an honor to be associated with them.
Q: What's the biggest reason for that success...teammates, crew, the Audi organization or just plain awesome ability?
MW: All of it, but mostly it has to do with teamwork. For example we won Road Atlanta because of the pit stops and the team strategy and we happened to be running the best car. Not necessarily the quickest car, but the best car. The Audi is never broken, never has any problems. It is running strong every time.
Q: Is it easier to drive for a team like Audi when you've had this much success, or is there more pressure because people now are expecting it?
MW: There is more pressure because the expectation level with Audi has always been high. A driver must bring the car home to a great finish every time. It is very nice to be in an Audi, but that doesn't make it easier. I very much like this kind of racing. The competition is always good!
Q: You've won nearly every major sports car race in the world except Le Mans. What would it mean to do it this year (a) with Audi, (b) the Champion privateer team, and (c) with JJ after all the success the two of you have had in the past few years?
MW: First, I want to help my teammate Tom Kristensen get his seventh win. And I want JJ to have his second win. And of course, I very much want to win my first Le Mans race and give Audi its fifth Le Mans win. And for Champion Racing, this would be a very special situation. I want very much to get this win for Dave Maraj and Champion Racing.