Audi, Panoz To Tangle Again At Mosport INDIANAPOLIS (August 11, 2001) -- The two juggernauts of the American Le Mans Series, Audi and Panoz, will tangle again in the GT3 Grand Prix at Mosport, set for Sunday, August 19, at Mosport International...
Audi, Panoz To Tangle Again At Mosport
INDIANAPOLIS (August 11, 2001) -- The two juggernauts of the American Le Mans Series, Audi and Panoz, will tangle again in the GT3 Grand Prix at Mosport, set for Sunday, August 19, at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
In the most recent race for the sports car endurance series, Audi's unprecedented 11-race winning streak in series events was snapped by the Panoz team and drivers David Brabham and Jan Magnussen. It marked the first time since May of 2000 that anything other than an Audi R8 Prototype had snared the overall win in an American Le Mans Series event.
On an emotional high from the well-deserved win at Portland, Ore., the Panoz team will be at the 2.45-mile Mosport circuit just east of Toronto ready to battle the factory Audi squad again. The Panoz team won the inaugural ALMS race on the demanding course in 1999, when Magnussen was paired with Johnny O'Connell.
"The track seems to suit us well, despite the bumps," said Magnussen, a native of Denmark who has raced in both Formula One and CART events during his career. "There are plenty of interesting turns. I like it a lot and we are coming to a track which we know pretty well and which has been good to us in the past."
The Panoz team is racing with its old and proven LMP-1 Roadster cars, which were brought out of retirement in July to replace the troublesome new LMP 07 machines that debuted this year. In two races, Magnussen and Brabham have a third and a win with the old car, while teammates Klaus Graf and Franck Lagorce have also been very competitive.
"Our result at Portland shows that it was the right decision to bring back the 2000-spec 'old' cars," he said. "We've now got to keep taking the fight to Audi to spice up the races and the championships."
Audi will again be the event favorite with its two-car team. Current ALMS point leader Rinaldo Capello, who won last year at Mosport, will be paired with Tom Kristensen in one car, while two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro will drive the other.
The privately-entered Champion Racing team will also run an Audi R8 for English drivers Johnny Herbert, a former winner in Formula One, and Andy Wallace. Popular American Butch Leitzinger will pair with England's James Weaver as the Dyson team brings its Lincoln-powered Riley & Scott Prototype to challenge the best of the ALMS at Mosport.
John Graham, a resident of the Toronto area, will be paired with popular female driver Milka Duno in the Dick Barbour Racing entry in the new LMP 675 class. Graham was the first class winner when the smaller Prototypes were introduced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000.
Canadian Ron Fellows will be a local favorite at Mosport as well as the GTS-class point leader as he drives with O'Connell in a factory Chevrolet Corvette. Teammates Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim will join the battle against the fast Saleen S7R driven by Terry Borcheller and Franz Konrad, as well as the two-car American Viperacing with its popular Dodge Vipers.
It will be BMW against Porsche in the GT class, with such standouts as Hans Stuck, Boris Said, JJ Lehto, Jorg Muller and defending ALMS GT champion Dirk Muller wheeling the new BMW M3 GTR machines. The Porsche brigade will be led by Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr and Randy Pobst in Porsche 911 GT3 RS racers. Canadians Kye Wankum, Jeff Pabst and Tony Burgess will also wheel Porsches in the race.
The GT3 Grand Prix at Mosport will include a two-hour, 45-minute race for the ALMS machines beginning at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, August 19. Practice and qualifying, as well as a driver autograph session, will be held on Saturday.
Ticket information is available online at www.mosport.com, or by calling 1-800-866-1072.
The race will be televised live in the United States by NBC Sports beginning at 2 p.m. (EDT). Highlights will be shown on Eurosport at 9:30 p.m. (CET) on August 26. The live race broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com beginning at 12 noon (EDT).