Audi duo Alan McNish and Rinaldo Capello bounced back from an early race crash to take victory in round eight of the Le Mans Series at Portland today. Capello clashed with a GT class Porsche 10 minutes into the race, causing bodywork damage and...
Audi duo Alan McNish and Rinaldo Capello bounced back from an early race crash to take victory in round eight of the Le Mans Series at Portland today.
Capello clashed with a GT class Porsche 10 minutes into the race, causing bodywork damage and a flat tyre.
With the early damage, the #77 Audi actually completed the entire race on one rear set of tyres.
"By only changing the fronts, the car was pretty difficult towards the end of the race, but I have to hand it to our team - they really got us back into the race," McNish said.
"After the disappointment of Texas, it is great to get back into the winner's circle.
Australia's David Brabham took second with Jan Magnussen aboard the Panoz while points leaders Jorg Muller and JJ Lehto were third for BMW.
"It would have been nice to go one better, but I really enjoyed the race today," Brabham said.
"I had a little bit of damage to the front bodywork with caused a small off-track excursion. That lost us too much time to really have a go at the Audi."
After leading early, the Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela Audi combination were disappointed to miss a spot on the podium after finishing fourth.
"I came in for my first stop under green flag conditions and the very next lap there was a yellow flag safety car period," Pirro said.
"We lost a huge amount of time and went a lap down. It is very frustrating - one minute we are in the lead, and the next we are one lap behind.
"Even after 20 years of racing, these things are sometimes pretty hard to accept."
Ex-Ferrari Grand Prix star Stefan Johansson completed the top five in the Reynard he shared with young Brit, Guy Smith.
The Dodge Viper squad were back to their winning ways in the GTS division with Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta taking the win for the ORECA team.
Australian's GT team owner Rohan Skea had a bad day when co-driver Doc Bundy crashed their Porsche GT3-R, one hour into the race. Although he climbed out of the crashed car, Bundy was later transferred to hospital for observation.
Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr's luck continued to fade with two separate on-track clashes - the second forcing them out of the race and out of the GT championship lead.
The GT division was taken by Muller and Luhr's team-mates Sascha Maassen and Bob Wollek <pre> RESULTS - PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1. - Rinaldo Capello/Alan McNish - Audi - 136 laps 2. - David Brabham/Jan Magnussen - Panoz - 136 laps 3. - JJ Lehto/Jorg Muller - BMW - 135 laps 4. - Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro - Audi - 135 laps 5. - Stefan Johansson/Guy Smith - Reynard - 135 laps GTS DIVISION 1. - Karl Wendlinger/Olivier Beretta - Dodge Viper - 123 laps GT DIVISION 1. - Sascha Maassen/Bob Wollek - Porsche GT3-R - 121 laps