AUDIS LEAD CHARGE TO ENGLAND -- Audi Sport North America, riding a 10-race winning streak in the American Le Mans Series, will try to become a first-time winner in the European Le Mans Series when it fields two cars at England's Donington Park on...
AUDIS LEAD CHARGE TO ENGLAND -- Audi Sport North America, riding a 10-race winning streak in the American Le Mans Series, will try to become a first-time winner in the European Le Mans Series when it fields two cars at England's Donington Park on Apr. 14. The two-hour, 45-minute race will be the inaugural event of the new ELMS, but will be important for ALMS teams as well. The Donington event is one of two races on the ELMS this season that are optional for ALMS teams, and points earned could be used to replace those earned in a bad finish in one of the nine North American rounds of the ALMS as teams battle for the championship. Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen will be back together in the #1 Audi R8 while Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro will co-drive the #2 machine. Several other ALMS teams are expected to compete in England, including Panoz Motor Sports in LMP 900, Dick Barbour Racing in LMP 675, Konrad Motorsport in GTS and Alex Job Racing and BMW Motorsport in GT. American race fans will be able to watch same-day television coverage of the event at 4 p.m. (Eastern) on NBC Sports. Radio Le Mans will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.
HISTORY ABOUNDS AT DONINGTON PARK -- Located in Central England, between Leicester and Derby, Donington Park is a 2.5-mile, natural-terrain road racing circuit that ranks as one of the most picturesque circuits in motorsports. Set in and around a natural amphitheater, Donington Park was built in 1931 for motorcycle events and then held numerous international automobile racing events in 1935-1938. The circuit closed at the outbreak of World War II and lay dormant for nearly 40 years. Donington was resurrected in the 1970s by entrepreneur Tom Wheatcroft and re-opened in 1977. The circuit is very fast in parts and the descent through what is known as the Craner Curves to the old Hairpin section is considered quite challenging for drivers and cars. The Melbourne Loop, added in 1985, breaks up the tracks flowing nature and requires heavy braking and transmission strain. Spectator viewing areas abound. The circuit includes a museum which houses the Donington Collection of historic racing cars.
QUICK NOTES -- The Nov. 11 Asia-Pacific Le Mans Series event at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia has been named "Le Mans In Paradise Malaysia" by the event organizers .... Lucas Luhr's win in the GT class at Sebring made him the first ALMS driver ever to win three straight in GT. He won the 2000 season finale in Australia and opened 2001 with a win at Texas .... Karl Wendlinger, who won nine straight ALMS races in the GTS class in 1999 and 2000, holds the series records for the most consecutive wins by a driver .... Rinaldo Capello, part of the winning team at Sebring, has won three straight ALMS events, the second time he has done so in his career