Biela, Pirro win American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio. LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 30, 2002) -- Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro took victory in Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after their Audi team car driven by Tom...
Biela, Pirro win American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio.
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 30, 2002) -- Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro took victory in Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after their Audi team car driven by Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello ran out of fuel on the last lap of the event.
Kristensen, who did not pit during the final caution period in the two-hour, 45-minute race and therefore inherited the lead, was approximately two seconds ahead of Pirro when he started the final lap. However, the Audi R8 Prototype's engine sputtered entering turn 3, allowing Pirro to catch and pass. With the engine stopping and starting, Kristensen managed to coast around the 13-turn circuit and finish second, 6.248 seconds behind Pirro..
"I was very surprised when Tom did not pit on the final yellow flag," said Pirro, who teamed with Biela and Kristensen to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third straight year two weeks ago in the same car. "I thought that Frank and I had the fastest car, but the other car would have won had it pitted."
David Brabham and Jan Magnussen finished third in a Panoz LMP-1, the car suffering damage late in the race when Magnussen was battling with Pirro for second place.
The LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes featured first-time winners on the series as Jeff Bucknum of Lake Havasu, Ariz., Chris McMurry of Phoenix and Bryan Willman of Kirkland, Wash., co-drove a Pilbeam MP84-Nissan to a one-lap win.
Ron Fellows of Canada and Johnny O'Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., continued their domination of the GTS class, winning for the third time in three ALMS races in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R.
In the GT class, Kevin Buckler of Novato, Calif., and B.J. Zacharias of Cincinnati, Ohio, won for the first time in ALMS competition in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Buckler teamed with two other drivers to win the GT class at Le Mans.