Miami: Audi Teams preview

SMYRNA, Ga. (September 23, 2003) - The two privateer Audi R8 teams of Infineon Team Joest and Team ADT Champion Racing will take to the streets of Miami this weekend to compete in Miami's Grand Prix Americas presented by Sportsbook.com. The...

SMYRNA, Ga. (September 23, 2003) - The two privateer Audi R8 teams of Infineon Team Joest and Team ADT Champion Racing will take to the streets of Miami this weekend to compete in Miami's Grand Prix Americas presented by Sportsbook.com.

The 1.3-mile, 13-turn circuit will bring the Downtown area of Miami alive with the sounds of racing cars the weekend of September 26-28 featuring a dual lineup up of sports cars from the American Le Mans Series and Champ cars from the CART Series.

Infineon Team Joest will endeavor to continue their winning streak thus locking in the Championship in the American Le Mans Series. Frank Biela won this event last year with co-driver Emanuele Pirro. This year's teammate, Marco Werner, will once again be mastering a new track while keeping the Audi R8 up to speed.

For Team ADT Champion Racing, this weekend's event in Miami is like racing in "their own back yard" as the team's headquarters are located a short 40-miles north of Miami in Pompano Beach, Florida. Drivers Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto hope to steer their Audi R8 to victory in order to keep alive their chance of title contention in the ALMS.

Thirty-six American Le Mans Series cars are expected to compete in the event, which gets the green flag on Saturday, September 27 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The ALMS race will be televised live by the SPEED Channel and broadcast online by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com.

DRIVER QUOTES:

INFINEON TEAM JOEST

Frank Biela: "We're all looking forward to Miami. The atmosphere is awesome and racing on street circuits is something very special. Fortunately, the part of the course that was so slippery last year and which had little to do with driving, is no longer there. I hope that the new part of the course is at the same level of what the rest of the course was like last year. The spectators will definitely see an interesting race, because the track is so narrow and short. Miami wasn't especially exhausting last year, but it's important to permanently remain concentrated. Between the concrete walls the smallest mistake inevitably leads to retirement, which is something we cannot afford. We have the championship in the back of our minds, but we also want to win the last two races. That's why it will be important for us to find the right compromise between speed and the least possible amount of risk."

Marco Werner: "In Trois-Rivieres I proved myself as a driver on a street circuit. I'm looking forward to Miami and am really excited about the race. Apparently, last year there were some sections with very little grip. In Miami it's again my turn to do the qualifying and I hope to be able to capture the pole position for Infineon Team Joest like in Trois-Rivieres and Road America. On a street circuit it's important to start from the front, because it's even more difficult to pass someone than on a normal course. Even though we have a comfortable lead in the championship, I'm not thinking about simply bringing home points. I have too much fun winning to be able to do that!"

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING

Johnny Herbert: "I stayed out longer than the 'factory' Audis before pitting for fuel in last year's Miami race hoping for a yellow caution period which thankfully came after I'd managed to build up a lead advantage. I pitted and handed over to Stefan Johansson in the lead after 80 minutes but an air hose became tangled around our Audi's rear wing as he left our pit resulting in a stop-go penalty. I've driven on a number of temporary street circuits in my career but Miami is extremely narrow featuring very few overtaking opportunities making it tough to stay out of trouble when frequently lapping backmarkers."

JJ Lehto: "Last year's Miami race was my best ALMS event of the year finishing second, just 14-seconds behind the winning 'factory' Audi of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro. To be in with any hope of keeping our championship hopes alive, Johnny and I must win and hope that our title rivals, the similar Joest-run Audi R8 of Frank Biela and Marco Werner have a bad race and fail to collect many LMP900 points. To keep the championship open until Road Atlanta next month, we must finish no lower than third in class should Joest win - fourth place and it's game over for us - it's as simple as that."

-audi north america-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Stefan Johansson , Frank Biela , Marco Werner , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto