Brabham, Magnussen Drive Panoz to ALMS Victory; Audi Winning Streak Ends PORTLAND, Ore. (August 5, 2001) -- Audi's year-long winning streak in the American Le Mans Series was broken Sunday when David Brabham and Jan Magnussen co-drove a Panoz ...
Brabham, Magnussen Drive Panoz to ALMS Victory;
Audi Winning Streak Ends
PORTLAND, Ore. (August 5, 2001) -- Audi's year-long winning streak in the American Le Mans Series was broken Sunday when David Brabham and Jan Magnussen co-drove a Panoz prototype to victory in the Grand Prix of Portland sports car endurance race.
The win by the Panoz LMP-1 was the first non-Audi victory in the series since Brabham and Magnussen won a race at Germany's Nurburgring circuit in July of 2000. The Audi R8 had won 11 consecutive races in the series.
The potential upset began to unfold Saturday when Brabham won the pole for the event. In the two-hour, 45-minute race, Brabham battled during his driving stint with the Audi driven by Tom Kristensen, swapping the lead several times. Later in the race, the Audi developed mechanical problems after series point leader Rinaldo Capello had taken it over, but Magnussen had to hold off a late charge from the second Audi, driven at that stage by Emanuele Pirro. A late caution flag set up a 10-minute sprint to the finish, and Magnussen beat Pirro to the win by .374 second.
"This win means so much to our team, and for the series" said Brabham. "It hasn't been good for the series to have the Audis winning all of the time. For us to beat the Audis is just awesome. When we got here, we knew we had a good setup and a good car, and we knew we had a chance to win."
Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell drove a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R to the GTS class win, their third in five ALMS races this season. Fellows had a strong battle early in the race with the Saleen S7R driven by Franz Konrad, but the car developed engine problems later in the race after co-driver Terry Borcheller took over. That allowed the second Corvette driven by Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim to finish second in class. However, the Collins/Pilgrim car was disqualified following a post-race inspection after it was found to be under the required 1,200-kilometer weight. That moved the Dodge Viper GTS-R driven by Shane Lewis and Jeff Altenburg to second place in the final order.
"The Saleen was a handful," said Fellows. "The track was really slippery and everyone was slipping and sliding. They gave us a great race for awhile, but fortunately for us, they had problems."
Boris Said and Hans Stuck won the GT class in a BMW M3 GTR, coming back from an incident at the start of the race when Stuck was hit by another car. "We found when we pitted that the rim was bent," said Stuck. "We were lucky the tire did not burst."
The Porsche 911 GT3 R of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen finished second in the GT class.
The LMP 675 class for smaller prototypes was won by the Reynard 01Q-Judd driven by John Graham, Milka Duno and Didier de Radigues.