Team ADT Champion Racing Wins Petit Le Mans For Second Consecutive Time - Also Claims Team and Manufacturers' Championship BRASELTON, Ga. (September 25, 2004) - Teammates JJ Lehto (Finland) and Marco Werner (Germany), drivers of the No. 38 Audi...
Team ADT Champion Racing Wins Petit Le Mans For Second Consecutive Time - Also Claims Team and Manufacturers' Championship
BRASELTON, Ga. (September 25, 2004) - Teammates JJ Lehto (Finland) and Marco Werner (Germany), drivers of the No. 38 Audi R8 for Team ADT Champion Racing, celebrated their 2nd consecutive victory at the 6th annual Petit Le Mans as well as earning their 6th victory in the American Le Mans Series today during the 9:35 minute, 394-lap race at Road Atlanta. The No .2 "sister" car driven by Johnny Herbert (England) and Pierre Kaffer (Germany) finished in 2nd place with a gap of 3 laps.
Track conditions today were ideal for the thousands of fans that packed the hilly terrain of Road Atlanta. Michelin engineers reported sunny skies with an air temperature of 75 degrees at noon, which climbed to 90 degrees as the day progressed.
Werner started in 4th position directly behind the other Audi driven by Kaffer but immediately passed him on the first lap. Eight laps later, Werner again passed the 2nd placed leader of Clint Field in the Intersport car on his quest to hunt down the leading Dyson Car of James Weaver. Just a short one hour into the endurance race, Werner accomplished his goal. The No. 38 charged hard and never relinquished the lead. Teammates Lehto and Werner drove a clean, problem free race towards a very important victory. The win by this duo also earns Champion Racing their first Team Championship as well as Audi's 5th Manufacturers' Championship in the American Le Mans Series.
"The Champion guys really put it together," said Rod Bymaster, Motorsports Manager for Audi of America. "It was nice to see them integrate the second car. Now we can get ready for next year. I'm so happy for Dave Maraj and Champion Racing. They really earned these rewards."
The No.2 car of Herbert and Kaffer had a magnificent run as well only experiencing a couple of minor situations throughout the race. Herbert had to serve a stop and go penalty for contact Kaffer had encountered earlier with a Ferrari causing a full course caution. Then about five hours later in the race, Herbert encountered oil and braked hard at Turn 10a and slid into the gravel area. The safety crew towed him out; Herbert fired up the Audi R8 and came into the pits for a tire change only. This was Herbert's 4th Petit Le Mans (winning it twice) and Kaffer's first.
The next and final event on the American Le Mans Series schedule will be the Fry's Electronics Sports Car Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 14 - 16. Team ADT Champion Racing will again run a two-car team with the same drivers.
JJ Lehto (Finland): "It's a big evening for Champion Racing and for Audi. We achieved all our goals and now we can just enjoy it for the last race. We had a great set-up and it was fun having two cars. I had a lot of fun!"
Marco Werner (Germany): "I'm very proud to be in the Audi family, a lot of victories and records for us. The Champion Team worked very hard and very well. Today everything was great for us; the pit stops, the strategy, and JJ too had a great race."
Johnny Herbert (England): "In the closing stages I slid off on oil and almost immediately had to make a couple of unscheduled pit-stops because of a fuel leak. We were comfortably in second place, a lap adrift of #38 but well clear of the third-place car, so it wasn't a big problem. Our race crew did a good job - it just wasn't our day - but an ADT Champion Audi 1-2 nevertheless."
Pierre Kaffer (Germany): "After two hours our car had to serve a stop-go penalty which lost us a lap to #38. I disagreed with the decision by the officials when a Ferrari and I touched but in my opinion it was a racing accident. The collision also damaged the left side pod which affected the balance for the rest of the race but it was a satisfying result."
Brad Kettler (Technical Director): "I am very proud of this team, especially for putting out two cars under very short notice. The boys shook off the last hurricane that knocked us out of the saddle for almost a week. We showed what a good technical team we are today. We owe a lot to Audi Sport Ingolstadt because of the people they supplied to help make the second car possible. Both cars had the potential to win and both were technically perfect without a single problem on one of them all day long."
For more information on Champion Racing, please visit www.championracing.net. For more information on Audi's motorsport program, please visit www.audiusa.com.